Convenient sampling was used that included 241 medical students at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University who participated in this ex post facto research. Validated instruments were used to measure Grit, Empathy, Self-Esteem, Activity, Sociability, Neuroticism-Anxiety, Aggression-Hostility, Impulsive Sensation Seeking, and Loneliness. Bivariate correlations and multivariate regression were used to examine relationships between scores on the Grit scale and personality measures.
Results of bivariate correlational analyses showed that scores on the Grit scale were positively and significantly (p<0.01) correlated with measures of Self-Esteem (r=0.35), Empathy (r=0.26), and Activity (r=0.17); but negatively and significantly (p<0.01) correlated with measures of Loneliness (r=-0.28), Aggression-Hostility (r=-0.23), Neuroticism-Anxiety (r=-0.22), and Impulsive Sensation Seeking (r=-0.18). Regression analysis indicated that in a multivariate model, higher scores on Self-Esteem and Empathy and lower scores on Aggression-Hostility were uniquely and significantly associated with Grit scores (R=0.43, p<0.01).
Research hypothesis was partially confirmed, suggesting that medical students with higher Grit scores were likely to have higher empathic orientation in patient care and greater Self-Esteem. Conversely, those with higher degrees of Grit displayed lower levels of Aggression-Hostility and Impulsive Sensation Seeking. The Implications of these findings for medical education are discussed.