Overall, the problem solving and conflict resolution skills built by participation in a sport are most critical, Dr. Wax added. “As a program director, I find it very rare for disciplinary, personality and professional issues to get up to my level. I may hear of situations or issues, but it’s usually taken care of by senior or chief residents because they perceive themselves as all [being] on one team, and the team can’t run smoothly with these issues.”
What Do You Do with This?
Although this study has generated significant buzz, questions as to just how much weight should be placed on this finding remain unanswered. Robert J. Sinard, MD, program director of otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, considered the association found in the study to be interesting, but “it’s a bit of information that I’m really not sure what you do with,” he said.
“I’ve been educating residents for 17 or 18 years, and there are some who I know competed on a very high level of team sport who were not especially good residents, and when I think of some of the absolute top people I’ve ever trained in my whole life, I’m not sure that any of them were team sport competitors,” he said.