The relationship of cognitive, personality, and academic measures to anesthesiology resident clinical performance

David L. Reich, Suzan Uysal, Carol A. Bodian, Suzanne Gabriele, Mary Hibbard, Wayne Gordon, Martin Sliwinki, Richard D. Kayne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Cognitive skills (including vigilance), personality factors, and standardized academic test performance may be associated with clinical competence in anesthesiology to varying degrees. Sixty-seven anesthesiology residents in training at one center between 1993 and 1995 were administered the modified Vigil (For Thought, Ltd., Nashua, NH), the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test, the California Personality Inventory, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and five standardized academic performance tests. The clinical performance of anesthesiology residents was rated on a quarterly basis by a clinical competence committee. A growth curve model indicated that there was significant variability in clinical competence at the start of residency and a statistically significant improvement over time, and that the relative ranking of the residents remained stable over the course of training. Of 46 potential variables, 7 were associated (P < 0.10) with poor clinical performance; these were subjected to a multivariate test (Mantel-Haenszel). Cognitive variables predicting poor clinical performance were difficulty performing a rapid mental arithmetic test requiring divided attention and commission errors during complex visual target detection. Personality variables predicting poor clinical performance were introversion and flexibility. A predictive academic variable was poor anesthesia knowledge as measured by using two different tests during the first month of training. There were varying levels of independence among these variables. Implications: Early academic test performance and certain cognitive and personality tests were associated with the clinical performance of anesthesiology residents. The predictive value of these findings should be confirmed in a prospective, multicenter study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-1100
Number of pages9
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999


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