The Use of Personality Assessment in Mentoring and to Aid in Self-reflection in Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programs

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2021 Apr 13. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-20-01345. Online ahead of print.


Personality plays an important role in performance in medical education and mentorship. Personality assessment can aid in the ability to identify strengths and areas for development by understanding how one's personality influences their learning and interpersonal relationships. We sought to evaluate personality assessment as an effective tool in mentoring during orthopaedic residency in this prospective, cross-sectional study from two orthopaedic surgery residency programs using the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI). Participants completed a survey regarding their experience with the assessment. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and two-sample t-tests were used to examine differences between groups. In total, thirty-four individuals completed the survey. Our results showed 82.4% reported that the HPI very accurately represented them and 58.8% reported better understanding potentially perceived strengths and weaknesses. In total, 75.7% and 72.7% were satisfied with their mentorship about development as a clinician and researcher, respectively. Significant differences were seen between participants who did and did not re-review their results, and participants who did and did-not believe their results profile was accurate. We conclude that personality assessments can be valuable in promoting introspection and strengthening relationships within orthopaedic surgery, particularly when they are valued and emphasized by the user. Our results suggest that use of the HPI provided participants with a better understanding of their perceived strengths and weaknesses as they progress through their orthopaedic residency training.