Medical education in the time of COVID-19

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Science Advances  29 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 31, eabc7110
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc7110

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  • RE: Improve but do not select for grit and resilience
    • Raihan Jumat, Education Fellow, Basic Science Education Fellow

    I read this editorial with great interest and deeply appreciated the deep insights the authors shared.

    However, in line with the statement made by the authors 'Competent physicians are not born; they are made', grit is also a trait which can be imparted to medical students. Hence, the suggestion by the authors to select for grit upon matriculation may not be necessary.

    As explained by Angela Duckworth herself, an assembly of gritty individuals might not necessarily create a gritty organisation [1]. Individuals who appear gritty upon matriculation could be gritty in a different context and medical school presents a different set of challenges which are unique to most pre-medical school experiences. Hence, individuals which type as gritty at the pre-matriculation stage might not remain gritty throughout medical school.

    What has been shown to be highly effective is to inculcate grit in the organisational culture of the institution. Organisations that implement a positive grit culture produce staff/students who are more resilient, learn how to work well with others, and achieve greater successes in general [2].

    A step forward in most medical schools would be to change to a culture which values students ‘bouncing back’ after facing a setback. Students who are supported by the faculty and their peers learn the value of teamwork and tend to develop grit [3].

    The implementation of a positive grit culture in medical school (or health...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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