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J Surg Educ. 2012 Jan-Feb;69(1):23-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2011.05.017.

Determining personal talents and behavioral styles of applicants to surgical training: a new look at an old problem, part II.

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1
Department of Surgery, University of South Carolina School of Medicine and Palmetto Health, Columbia, South Carolina, USA. Richard.Bell@uscmed.sc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The selection of applicants for training in any particular surgical program is an imprecise exercise. Despite the abundance of information on particular candidates, many of the fundamental qualities that are associated with success for the surgical trainee cannot be identified by review of the applicants' grades, scores, letters of recommendation, personal statement, or even from the interview process. We sought a method to determine behavior, motivation, and values possessed by applicants that coincided with traits by our current residents who had demonstrated success in our program.

METHODS:

The methods have been described in detail in Part I.(1) Briefly, the individual applicants' personal talent report was used to develop a rank-ordered list by the outside consultant and was compared to the traditionally developed rank list developed by the Department in the traditional fashion and the newly developed job benchmark.

RESULTS:

Five hundred thirty-five applications were received and interviews were offered to 112 (21%) applicants. Seventy-five on-line surveys were completed by the 77 applicants who were interviewed. The consultant was able to identify important personal talents, elements of motivation, and behavioral style that were not gleaned from the application or the interview process, some of which prompted a revision of our final ranking order.(1) This report discusses the results of the motivational analysis and of the Personal Talents Skills Inventory. Applicants with a strong motivation for the theoretical (knowledge) and social commitment (desire to help others) are important characteristics. Clear views of the external world and of self, as well as a sense of satisfaction with the applicants' vision of their future are positively associated with success in our program.

CONCLUSIONS:

The ability to identify unique behavioral, motivational and personal talents that applicants bring to the program that were not identifiable from the traditional application and interview process has allowed us to determine applicants who were a good match for the structure and culture of our program.

PMID:
22208827
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsurg.2011.05.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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