Grit: A predictor of medical student performance.
Education for health (Abingdon, England)
Background: Several predictors of medical school performance have been identified, yet more research is needed to select applicants who will perform well. Grit is a personality trait that is described as persevering through difficult tasks. Although it is hypothesized that this type of trait would be high in a medical student population, this has not been studied. The purpose of this study was to examine grit among medical students and to explore whether grit-predicted performance in medical school.
Methods: There were 131 graduating medical students who completed a questionnaire in May 2014 on grit as well as demographic questions and involvement in other activities in medical school. Data on test scores, years in medical school, and class ranking were obtained from the medical school.
Results: The average grit score among 130 medical students was high (mean = 4.01, standard deviation = 0.42). Those who completed the program in 4 years had higher grit scores than those who completed in 5 years (P = 0.01). Grit was related to medical school performance including clinical knowledge scores (P = 0.02). There was also a difference between the highest and lowest class rank (P = 0.03).
Discussion: Medical students have high levels of trait-like perseverance and it appears that those with higher levels of grit are more likely to perform better in medical school.