Current methods of selecting future residents for anesthesiology training programs do not adequately distinguish those who will succeed from the pool of seemingly well-qualified applicants. Some residents, despite high exam scores, may struggle in the OR in stressful situations.
This study examined whether specific neuropsychological and personality measures can distinguish high competency residents from low competency residents to aid in resident selection.
25 residents enrolled in an anesthesiology program at a major academic institution were identified for participation. 13 were evaluated identified as “high competency” residents and 12 as “low competency ” by the department's clinical competency committee. Groups were evaluated on measures of fine motor dexterity, executive functioning, processing speed, attention, and personality using IPIP-NEO.
There were no significant differences between groups on measures of fine-motor dexterity, executive functioning, processing speed, or attention. High competency residents scored significantly higher than low competency residents on measures of cooperation, self-efficacy, and adventurousness, and lower on measures of neuroticism, anxiety, anger, and vulnerability.
Although measures of fine-motor dexterity, executive functioning, processing speed, and attention do not appear to distinguish between high- and low competency residents in anesthesiology, specific personality characteristics may be associated with future success in an anesthesiology training program.