Indexed on: 10 May '08Published on: 10 May '08Published in: Academic Psychiatry
The authors examine associations of personality characteristics, National Board of Medical Examiners subject examination performance, and Objective Structured Clinical Examination performance with clinical evaluations of third-year medical students in a psychiatry clerkship.Students completed the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, which measures personality domains of neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness and associated personality traits. At clerkship completion, students completed the National Board of Medical Examiners subject examination and a psychiatry Objective Structured Clinical Examination, and were evaluated by attending physicians (using a standardized evaluation form) regarding their clinical "knowledge and skill" and "interpersonal behavior." Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation and canonical correlation.National Board of Medical Examiners subject examination and Objective Structured Clinical Examination scores were uncorrelated with clinical evaluations of "knowledge and skill" and "interpersonal behavior." Personality variables explained a moderate amount of variance in clinical evaluations. "Knowledge and skill" was positively associated with the domain of conscientiousness, the extraversion trait of warmth, and the conscientiousness traits of competence and achievement striving. "Interpersonal behavior" was negatively associated with the neuroticism trait of angry hostility and positively associated with the domain of agreeableness; the extraversion traits of warmth, gregariousness, and positive emotions; and the agreeableness traits of trust, altruism, compliance, and tender-mindedness.Clinical evaluations of medical students may favor personality styles that reflect positive elements of extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The present findings raise questions regarding the validity of clinical evaluation elements in clerkship performance appraisal.