Improving Otolaryngology Residency Selection Using Principles from Personnel Psychology

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There has been a heightened focus on improving the resident selection process, particularly within highly competitive specialties. Previous research, however, has generally lacked a theoretical background, leading to inconsistent and biased results. Our recently published systematic review examining applicant characteristics and performance in residency can provide historical insight into the predictors (ie, constructs) and outcomes (ie, criteria) previously deemed pertinent by the otolaryngology community. Personnel psychology uses evidence-based practices to identify the most qualified candidates for employment using a variety of selection methods. Extensive research in this discipline has shown that integrity tests, structured interviews, work samples, and conscientiousness offer the greatest increase in validity when combined with general cognitive ability. Blending past research knowledge with the principles of personnel selection can provide the necessary foundation with which to engage in theory-driven, longitudinal studies on otolaryngology resident selection moving forward.

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