Objective: To assess the influence of personality traits on the choice of the specialty in final year medical students and house officers in government and private sector of Lahore, Pakistan.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted in government and private Medical colleges and hospitals of Lahore, Pakistan from March 2017 to Dec 2017. The sample of 120 final year MBBS students & 120 house officers of 22 to 25 years of age was randomly selected. Short form of “Zukerman Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire” (ZKPQ) was used to assess the personality characteristics of participants.
Results: House officers and final year students who preferred surgery as specialty showed highest score on the “impulsive sensation seeking” sub-scale and those who preferred gynecology scored high in “neuroticism-anxiety” sub-scale of ZKPQ. Those who preferred pathology and gynecology scored high on the sub-scale of “aggression-hostility” respectively. Surgery was the single most popular specialty among male, while females mostly preferred medicine and then surgery. Male and females in government sector had almost similar pattern in their preference for surgery while in private sector, females showed more preference for medicine as specialty as compared to surgery.
Conclusion: Different personality characteristics tend to effect different preferences in the choice of specialty. There is need for career counseling of medical students and fresh graduates according to their personality characteristics.
Personality, specialty, medicine, medical students, house officers.
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