Purpose: The selection of medical students for training in orthopaedic surgery consists of an objective screening of cognitive skills to secure interviews for the brightest candidates, followed by subjective measures of candidates to confirm whether applicants are worthy of further consideration. The personal interview and its potential biased impact on the orthopaedic workforce were evaluated. Method: During 2004-2006 at the Penn State College of Medicine, the authors performed a prospective cohort study in which 30 consenting interviewers and 135 interviewees completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator before the interviews. Completed surveys were evaluated after submitting the resident selection list to the National Residency Matching Program, and candidate rankings based solely on the personal interview were analyzed. Results: Clinicians ranked candidates more favorably when they shared certain personality preferences (P = .044) and when they shared the preference groupings of the quadrant extrovert-sensing and either the function pair sensing-thinking (P = .007) or the temperament sensing-judging (P = .003), or the function pair sensing-feeling and the temperament sensing-judging (P = .029). No associations existed between personality preferences and interviewee rankings performed by basic scientists and resident interviewers. Conclusions: The Results support the hypothesis that, within the department studied, there was a significant association between similarities in personality type and the rankings that individual faculty interviewers assigned to applicants at the completion of each interview session. The authors believe that it is important for the faculty member to recognize that this tendency exists. Finally, promoting diversity within the admission committee may foster a diverse resident body and orthopaedic workforce.
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