Research

Association between personality factors and consulting specialty of practice of doctors at an academic hospital in Bloemfontein, South Africa

R van Aswegen, A Ravgee, G Connellan, C Strydom, J T Kuzhivelil, G Joubert, W J Steinberg

Abstract


Background. Studies found an association between personality types and field of specialty. The current study could assist aspiring specialists in deciding
which specialty they are best suited for by comparing their own personalities with the results.
Objectives. To explore the personality characteristics of doctors in three consulting and four surgical specialties at an academic hospital in Bloemfontein,
South Africa.
Methods. In this analytical cross-sectional study, questionnaires, including the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire, were handed out.
Overall, 58 consultants and senior registrars from the departments of Family Medicine, Paediatrics and Internal Medicine (response rate 71.6%) and 70 consultants
and senior registrars from surgical specialties (response rate 60.3%) participated.
Results. Family medicine had the lowest median score for impulsive sensation seeking (21.1%) and aggression-hostility (11.8%), and highest for parties
and friends (33.3%). Paediatrics scored highest for neuroticism-anxiety (44.7%) and aggression-hostility (23.5%). Internal medicine scored highest for
sociability (25.0%) and isolation intolerance (37.8%), and lowest for neuroticism-anxiety (36.8%) and activity (47.1%). Overall, the consulting group
scored lower than the surgical group for impulsive sensation seeking, aggression-hostility, sociability and activity, and higher for neuroticism-anxiety.
Conclusion. The study identified personality types of some specialties, and revealed differences between characteristics of local specialists compared
with findings from studies elsewhere.


Authors' affiliations

R van Aswegen, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

A Ravgee, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

G Connellan, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

C Strydom, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

J T Kuzhivelil, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

G Joubert, Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

W J Steinberg, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Keywords

Personality characteristics; Family medicine; Paediatrics; Internal medicine; Consulting

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2018;10(2):79-84. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2018.v10i2.997

Article History

Date submitted: 2018-07-06
Date published: 2018-07-06

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