Sci59

Sci59 is an online psychometric assessment tool for doctors and medical students. 

Once your student or trainee has answered all 130 questions, he/she will be provided with a report which says which specialty or sub-specialty they are most and least suited to.

The assessment report also provides a list of 12 career-related dimensions.

There are some dos and don'ts for interpreting results

Do

Regard the results as a list of suggested options that might be interesting to explore further. To date, there is no published research to demonstrate that using Sci59 helps respondents to make robust career decisions.

Look at the suggested specialty options to see if you can discern any patterns. Are there more surgical or medical options, or an equal balance of both? What about the community versus hospital distinction? Or specialties that treat the whole patient versus those that specialise in a part of the patient’s body such as ophthalmology or urology? If you discern any patterns, look through the list of specialties to see other related disciplines that might be worth exploring further. For example, if two lab-based options are on the list, you might want to look at all the other lab-based specialties to see if they may also be of interest.

Take a second look at your scores on the 12 dimensions alongside those of other self-assessment tools they have completed. Remember, scores on these scales actually reflect how they responded to other items (in addition to the items linked to the scale name). But it might be useful for your student/trainee to see how your results on these scales tally with other self-assessment exercises to see if some clear patterns are emerging. The 12 dimensions were derived statistically, so although they’ve been assigned names and contain items that appear conceptually linked, the items don’t necessarily intuitively fit together. So it's important to exercise some caution when interpreting your scores in relation to these 12 dimensions.

Don't

Interpret Sci59 results as a definitive list of career options from which to choose a career, and don’t necessarily exclude all the options in the ‘least fit’ category either. The tool is intended to be indicative, not prescriptive.

Use your Sci59 results in isolation. A comprehensive review of the literature on the link between interests and medical specialty choice showed there is no simple way of matching a particular interest type to a particular medical specialty (Borges et al, 2004). Although this review didn’t include Sci59 specifically, it’s likely the same general principle holds true when considering this career planning tool. Some local Health Education England office-based studies of Sci59, presented at medical education conferences, have cautioned against over-reliance on the results (Goodyear et al, 2007).

Access to Sci59

Visit the Sci59 website

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