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ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 211-214

Personality traits predict a medical student preference to pursue a career in surgery


1 Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphofunctional Imaging, Psychiatry Unit, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
2 Department of Health and Medical Sciences, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, USA

Correspondence Address:
Fortunato Battaglia
Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, New Jersey 07079
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_282_16

Background: In this study, we examined the impact of personality traits, assessed with the psychopathic personality inventory revised version (PPI-R), on medical students' likelihood of selecting a surgical specialty. Methods: This is a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study of 360 4th-year medical students at a single university. We used the PPI-R previously developed to evaluate “adaptive” traits within nonclinical (student) populations. Students were asked to express their specialty of choice. Medical specialties were categorized as surgical and nonsurgical. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors and appropriate adjustments were made for demographic factors. Results: The survey was completed by 335 out of 360 students. The prevalence of students aspiring to a surgical career was 23.6%. They exhibited higher PPI-R total score, self-centered impulsivity (SCI) factor score, Machiavellian egocentricity, social influence, and fearlessness content scale scores. Logistic regression showed that SCI score was a significant predictor for the likelihood of expressing interest toward a surgical career. Discussion: Our findings expand previous research on the usefulness of the nonclinical use of psychopathic personality traits to investigate career choice.


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