Expert Skill Is A Choice, Not A Talent
Talent gets you in the game,
but it can't make you an expert.
-- Welcome To The SuccessTypes Medical Education Site --
The SuccessTypes Medical Education Site was established in 1998 as an academic project
aimed at using personality type insights as a tool to personalize academic success.
Much progress has been made since then by incorporating principles from brain research,
sleep research, human performance research, and modern cognitive psychology to increase
its effectiveness. An example of an application of these principles can be viewed
Personality type, as described by Carl Jung, affects academic performance because
it affects how students make use of their brain during learning activities.
- Students differ in the way they prefer to process information and, in turn, this affects
their professional performance.
- Students can constructively use the skills of their non-preferred opposite type to
achieve superior performance.
- This site teaches students how to interpret and apply personality type and to avoid
stereotyping and other pitfalls resulting from misunderstanding.
The SuccessTypes approach to teaching and learning is based on the following principles:
- Academic strength begins with self-awareness and motivation, not intelligence. While
intelligence is important, it can be increased.
- Self-awareness permits the most rapid development of expert skills through Deliberate Practice (McGaghie et al, Medical education featuring mastery learning with deliberate practice
can lead to better health for individuals and populations, Acad Med. 2011. 86(11):e8.)
- Students must eventually choose between achieving adequate skills and achieving expert
- Research indicates that Deliberate Practice is needed to produce expert learning skills.
Expert clinical skills follow directly from expertise in learning skills because clinical
skills are also learning skills.. (Ericsson, Deliberate practice and the acquisition
and maintenance of expert performance in medicine and related domains, Acad. Med.
2004. 79(10 Suppl):S70-81.)
- Teachers have the obligation to understand themselves as students in order to be effective
teachers. This is because teachers unconsciously teach through their own learning
The contribution of this website to students and faculty at other medical schools has recently been recognized by the 2010 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award presented to Dr. Pelley at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical
Colleges. Alpha Omega Alpha is the national medical honor society dedicated to the
improvement of health care through high academic achievement and gifted teaching.
Transformation of experience (Kolb, Experiential Learning, 1983)
"David Kolb observed that critical thinking skills develop best when students transform
their own experience into knowledge by acting on information that they are learning.
However, students often see themselves only as receivers of information, thus limiting
their action to remembering what they have received. Teachers often see themselves
primarily as providers of information, thus limiting their influence on learning to
assessing what is remembered. This is an undesirable and unproductive relationship
in professional education because it is a passive relationship; it thus creates a
dependency that students must eventually overcome. Furthermore, learning information
is not the same as “learning how to use” information.
The purpose of this website is to inspire students to transform themselves from receivers
of information into producers of their own knowledge and to show them how to accomplish
this transformation. Likewise, teachers can be inspired to transform themselves from
providers of information into "catalysts" that help students discover and decide."
Please Note: Check out the new ESP Blog.
Comments on the SuccessTypes website are welcome concerning the content, organization,
and problems with links.
Click on the picture for a curriculum vitae. Or, if you prefer, a shorter biosketch is available. Contact at email address below.
Website start date: 2/2013
Last Update: 4/2016