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Med Teach. 2013 Jul;35(7):e1267-301. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2013.785654. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Personality assessments and outcomes in medical education and the practice of medicine: AMEE Guide No. 79.

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Center for Research in Medical Education and Health Care, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. mohammadreza


In a paradigm of physician performance we propose that both "cognitive" and "noncognitive" components contribute to the performance of physicians-in-training and in-practice. Our review of the relevant literature indicates that personality, as an important factor of the "noncognitive" component, plays a significant role in academic and professional performances. We describe findings on 14 selected personality instruments in predicting academic and professional performances. We question the contention that personality can be validly and reliably assessed from admission interviews, letters of recommendation, essays, and personal statements. Based on conceptual relevance and currently available empirical evidence, we propose that personality attributes such as conscientiousness and empathy should be considered among the measures of choice for the assessment of pertinent aspects of personality in academic and professional performance. Further exploration is needed to search for additional personality attributes pertinent to medical education and patient care. Implications for career counseling, assessments of professional development and medical education outcomes, and potential use as supplementary information for admission decisions are discussed.

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