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Temperamental traits may be associated with medical students’ specialty preferences – pilot study

Agnieszka Pawełczyk, Magdalena Kotlicka-Antczak, Tomasz Pawełczyk, Jolanta Rabe-Jabłońska

Affiliacja i adres do korespondencji
PSYCHIATR. PSYCHOL. KLIN. 2010, 10 (2), p. 73-85

Objective: This study was aimed at checking a hypothesis about a possible correlation between medical students’ temperamental traits and specialty preferences. Material and methods: The study was carried out among 202 students of the 6th year at the Medical University of Łódź in academic year 2008/2009. The examined group consisted of 140 women (69%) and 62 men (31%). The average age of the students included into the study was 24.7 years (range: 23-29). The subjects were asked to fill in a questionnaire on demographic variables and the Formal Characteristics of Behaviour- Temperament Inventory (FCB-TI) by Zawadzki and Strelau. Results: The students taking part in the study preferred specialties in internal diseases (22%), surgery (18%) and paediatrics (11%). Two point five percent of the students were indecisive in the specialty choice, 26% preferred surgical specialty and 71% – non-surgical specialty. Differences in temperamental traits were indicated between the students preferring different specialties. Students preferring surgery scored higher than those preferring internal medicine in Endurance (p=0.0036, d=0.63) and Activity (p=0.0292, d=0.63). Significantly higher average values were observed within two temperamental traits: Briskness (p=0.0083, d=0.5) and Endurance (p=0.0070, d=0.49) in students preferring surgical specialties, as compared to those choosing non-surgical specialties. Conclusions: Students’ preferring different medical specialties differ in temperamental traits. They obtained different results on the scales of Briskness, Endurance and Activity. The obtained results may be useful in vocational guidance within the choice of medical specialty.

Słowa kluczowe
temperament, medical specialty, medical students, personality, medicine