University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Physician Assistant Education, Admissions


Dr. Laura Witte, PhD, PA-C


Purpose: Attrition from training, and burnout after completion of training, result in the loss of health care providers from the available healthcare workforce. If a personality trait associated with academic success and resilience could be identified in the admissions process, there may be less attrition from training and improved retention of providers in the workforce. The purpose of this article is to determine whether the grit, defined as passion and perseverance towards long term goals, correlates with academic and professional success during and following physician assistant (PA) training.

Method: A PubMed and Google Scholar literature search was conducted using search terms grit in medical education, grit in health education, grit and resilience, and grit and education. Forty-four pertinent articles were identified and these served as the basis for this research article.

Results: While the Grit-S score is not a perfect predictor of success and resilience, and may fluctuate over time, it is correlated with academic and professional success, resilience, and resistance to burnout.

Conclusion: Grit is a behavioral trait that is independently associated with academic and clinical success in a variety of settings. A higher grit score is also correlated with increased resilience and resistance to burnout. Although more study is needed, identification of grit in the admissions process may result in less attrition from PA training programs and more satisfied clinicians after graduation.


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