If you can predict academic success by personality factors, then med schools should consider including measures of these personality factors during their selection process. Mental toughness and stress tolerance are just two that came up. A recent systematic review looked at prospective cohort studies since 2000 on the subject of medical students’ scores on valid personality tests and objective measures of performance and stress.
In all seven relevant and selected studies conscientiousness was the most important personality factor to predict long-term success in medical training.
Furthermore, the evidence from these seven studies also suggests that social traits such as extraversion and levels of self-esteem and sociability may be important mediating factors in the clinical years.
In short “getting ahead” or conscientiousness is the critical personality factor during the first years in Med School and is necessary in the whole career but “getting along” (extraversion and openness) predicts success in the setting of the later years such as during clerkship and residency.
Those who’re doctors or med students will certainly recognize these findings.
Doherty, E., & Nugent, E. (2011). Personality factors and medical training: a review of the literature Medical Education, 45 (2), 132-140 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03760.x