Medical Trainees Will be Graded on Personality Traits Under New Accreditation System

By Catherine Groux
Posted March 01, 2012 01:10 PM

A new accreditation system will make sure doctors possess essential traits.
A new accreditation system will make sure doctors possess essential traits.
While doctors are ultimately hired to save patients' lives and ensure their overall well-being, these doctorate degree holders are also expected to develop certain personality traits. According to a study by WebMD, a majority of patients want a physician who is confident, empathetic, humane, personal and forthright.

Because these characteristics are so important, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education recently announced changes to the accreditation system for medical-residency programs, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. Under this new system, residency programs must prove that their trainees have both the skills and personal attributes they need to become successful doctors.

Now, medical doctorate degree seekers will be evaluated twice per year on how well they are developing more than 30 different skills and behaviors. While Carol A. Aschenbrener, chief medical-education officer at the Association of Medical Colleges, said it is easy to measure students' overall progress, the new system will highlight the behaviors and traits residents should be learning.

The personal skills students will be expected to gain will cover six areas, including patient care, interpersonal skills, communication, professionalism, medical knowledge and practice-based learning.

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