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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


BITRAN C, Marcela et al. Influence of personality and learning styles in the choice of medical specialty. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2005, vol.133, n.10, pp.1191-1199. ISSN 0034-9887.

Several studies indicate that doctors who work in the same area of the medical profession tend to behave somehow similarly. Thus, it has been suggested that personality relates to the medical specialty choice. However, it is not known whether people self-select into the medical specialties according to their personality or the professional practice in a particular field influences their behavior. Aim: To explore the possible association between the graduate's personality features and learning styles and their chosen specialty. Subjects and Methods: The psychological preferences and learning styles of 65 students of the 2001-graduating cohort of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile School of Medicine were evaluated with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Kolb Learning Style Inventory, respectively. These variables were correlated with the information of their specialty choice or occupation two years after graduation. Results: Graduates distributed unevenly in different areas of the medical profession. Surgical specialties concentrated a larger proportion of extraverted, intuitive and structured doctors, whereas in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine predominated intuitive and people-oriented MD's. Primary Care concentrated individuals with introverted, intuitive and flexible attitudes. Convergent learners (interested in problem-solving) preferred Surgery and Primary Care whereas Assimilator learners (abstract-reflexive) chose more frequently Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Psychiatry. Conclusions: According to their personality and learning style, graduates tend to self-select into different medical specialties. This information may help medical graduates to guide their specialty choice process, and medical educators to develop learning experiences that take into account the individual differences of their residents (Rev Méd Chile 2005; 133: 1191-9)

Palabras clave : Learning; Personality; Specialties; medical; Specialties; surgical.

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