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Association Between Family Medicine Residents’ Mindsets and In-Training Exam Scores
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Introduction: In medical practice, a mastery mindset is important for engaging in lifelong learning. The
objective of this study was to examine the association between family medicine residents’ scores on
mindset measures and their performance on in-training examinations (ITE).
Methods: This was a secondary data analysis of a cohort of family medicine residents. Following ethics
approval, residents’ ITE scores from each of the 2 years of residency were linked with residents’ responses
to a mindsets survey that they had taken at the midpoint of residency training. Multiple regression analysis
was used to investigate the relationship between residents’ mindset scores and their ITE scores. Of 85
residents, 46 (54%) had complete data for the three data collection points.
Results: Residents’ ITE scores in year 1 were most predictive of their ITE scores in year 2 (β=0.72; P<.001).
Mastery mindset scores were negatively associated with residents’ performance on the ITE in year 2
Conclusion: While the observed negative relationship between residents’ mastery mindset scores and
their ITE performance may be disconcerting, it is not surprising. In clinical settings, residents are
individually coached by preceptors and provided with specibc, actionable feedback to support their
learning. With respect to formative assessments, residents likely require explicit training on how to use
their assessment results (ITE scores) to support their self-directed learning. This bnding has practical
implications for residency programs in using ITEs as formative assessments.
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- Copyright Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. Used by permission.