Exploring temperament and character traits in medical students; a new approach to increase the rural workforce

Eley, Diann, Young, Louise, and Przybeck, Thomas R. (2009) Exploring temperament and character traits in medical students; a new approach to increase the rural workforce. Medical Teacher, 31 (3). e79-e84.

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Abstract

Background: This study explored temperament and character traits in medical students to identify the possible predictive value of these traits to students with varying levels of intention to pursue rural medicine. This work is the precursor to a better understanding of personality traits associated with medical disciplines within specific environments such as rural medicine.

Aims: The long term aim is to increase the recruitment of students who are best suited, and choose to practice in rural locations.

Methods: Medical students (272) completed a demographic survey and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI–R 140) to identify levels of the seven basic dimensions of temperament and character. Multivariate statistics explored differences between students’ TCI levels based on gender, rural origin and level of intention to pursue rural medicine.

Results: Analysis showed only main effects and confirmed significant differences in certain TCI dimensions between students with a high compared to a low or medium intention to practice rural medicine and between males and females.

Conclusions: Preliminary findings suggest that certain temperament and character traits may be related to interest in rural medicine however the efficacy of assessing personality traits as an adjunct to medical school training and career counselling remains uncertain.

Item ID: 18257
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1466-187X
Funders: Australian Research Council, Central and Southern Queensland Training Consortium
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2011 02:15
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education @ 70%
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