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Academia and the Profession |

Personal Characteristics of House Staff Candidates: A Quantitative Analysis of Relative Weights

M. ANDREW GREGANTI, M.D.; WILLIAM C. McGAGHIE, Ph.D.; and WILLIAM F. FINN, M.D.
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▸ Requests for reprints should be addressed to M. Andrew Greganti, M.D.; Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 3041 Old Clinic Building, 226 H; Chapel Hill, NC 27514.


Chapel Hill, North Carolina


©1982 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(1):108-111. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-97-1-108
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We surveyed the faculty, fellows, and residents of a department of medicine to determine the relative importance of each of eight personal characteristics evaluated during the interview of house staff candidates. A booklet containing all possible pairings of the eight characteristics was distributed to 219 participants who were asked which member of each pair should have greater weight for assigning an overall interview grade. Usable data were returned by 172 persons (79%) and analyzed by the psychometric scaling method of paired comparisons. The four characteristics with the greatest relative weights were professional attitude, maturity, enthusiasm and energy, and knowledge. The faculty, fellows, and residents were highly consistent in their judgments. However, three of the characteristics (motivation for clinical practice, knowledge, and verbal skill) significantly distinguished the three departmental groups. These results show the utility of the paired comparison method for identifying a department's weighting of variables for selection of house staff.

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