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To Be a Great Resident, Think Critically

What’s the best predictor of success in residency and beyond? The answer is critical thinking. Read more on the recent study.

What’s the best predictor of success in residency and beyond? The answer is critical thinking, according to a recent study. When researchers analyzed four different sets of data on a group of Canadian medical residents—including the results on a family medicine certification exam, MCAT scores, the resident’s Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) file and the results on a critical thinking test (known as the California Critical Thinking Skills Test or CCTST)—it turned out that it was the results on the CCTST that were the best harbingers of a successful residency outcome.  According to the researchers, while many residency programs use a variety of criteria and tools to choose students, “the results of this study suggest that [critical thinking test] may be useful as a tool for improving resident selection.”

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