PQA - Measuing the personal qualities and abilities of aspiring health professionals

Presentations at 8th Australasian Conference on Personality & Individual Differences.

University of Sydney

25 – 28 November 2009

Dr. Don Munro, Dr. Miles Bore, & Dr. David Powis

University of Newcastle

(Presenting: Thursday, 9:30-10:30, Stream B)

Validating the 'Steady, Sane and Nice' model with medical students

At ACPID 2007 we presented a model of important predictors of successful medical student performance, based on several years of work in the field (Munro, Bore & Powis, 2008, in Boag, Personality Down Under). Three predictors were identified, formally identified as conscientiousness, psychological resilience and involvement ('steady, sane and nice'). Predictive validity evidence for non-cognitive tests has been difficult to obtain for medical students and doctors, largely because medical schools do not routinely collect suitable criterion data, but rely largely on academic exams and pass/fail assessments of clinical competence. We report here initial findings from a project run by a collaborating researcher who has collected data from a range of personality and ability tests (including PQA tests) and also academic examination results, professional evaluations and PBL tutor assessments for a cohort of medical students over two years. Though strong relationships between test results and medical school performance are difficult to find, the pattern suggests that various components of the ability and personality profiles may predict academic examinations, clinical performance and classroom behaviours. The methodological difficulties interpreting the complex relationships will be discussed.