Though approximately 50% of medical school graduates today are women, female physicians tend to be underrepresented in senior positions, make less money than their male counterparts and receive fewer promotions. There is a growing body of literature demonstrating gender bias in various forms of evaluation in medicine, but this work was mainly conducted by looking for specific words using fixed dictionaries such as LIWC and focused on global assessments of performance such as recommendation letters. We use a dataset of written and quantitative assessments of medical student performance on individual shifts of work, collected across multiple institutions, to investigate the extent to which gender bias exists in a day-to-day context for medical students. We investigate differences in the narrative comments given to male and female students by both male or female faculty assessors, using a fine-tuned BERT model. This allows us to examine whether groups are written about in systematically different ways, without relying on hand-crafted wordlists or topic models. We compare these results to results from the traditional LIWC method and find that, although we find no evidence of group-level gender bias in this dataset, terms related to family and children are used more in feedback given to women.
Figurative and metaphorical language are commonplace in discourse, and figurative expressions play an important role in communication and cognition. However, figurative language has been a relatively under-studied area in NLP, and it remains an open question to what extent modern language models can interpret nonliteral phrases. To address this question, we introduce Fig-QA, a Winograd-style nonliteral language understanding task consisting of correctly interpreting paired figurative phrases with divergent meanings. We evaluate the performance of several state-of-the-art language models on this task, and find that although language models achieve performance significantly over chance, they still fall short of human performance, particularly in zero- or few-shot settings. This suggests that further work is needed to improve the nonliteral reasoning capabilities of language models.