Background: High attrition rates hint at deficiencies in the resident selection process. The evaluation of personal characteristics representative of success is difficult. Here, we evaluate a novel tool for assessing personal characteristics.
Materials and methods: To evaluate feasibility, we used an anonymous voluntary survey questionnaire offered to study participants before and after contact with the CASPer test. To evaluate the CASPer test as a predictor of success, we compared CASPer test assessments of personal characteristics versus traditional faculty assessment of personal characteristics with applicant rank list position.
Results: All applicants (n = 77) attending an in-person interview for general surgery residency, and all faculty interviewers (n = 34) who reviewed these applications were invited to participate. Among applicants, 84.4% of respondents (65 of 77) reported that a requirement to complete the CASPer test would have no bearing or would make them more likely to apply to the program (mean = 3.30, standard deviation = 0.96). Among the faculty, 62.5% respondents (10 of 16) reported that the same condition would have no bearing or would make applicants more likely to apply to the program (mean = 3.19, standard deviation = 1.33). The Spearman's rank-order correlation coefficients for the relationships between traditional faculty assessment of personal characteristics and applicant rank list position, and novel CASPer assessment of personal characteristics and applicant rank list position, were -0.45 (P = 0.033) and -0.41 (P = 0.055), respectively.
Conclusions: The CASPer test may be feasibly implemented as component of the resident selection process, with the potential to predict applicant rank list position and improve the general surgery resident selection process.
Keywords: Personal characteristics; Resident assessment; Resident attrition.
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