How do medical students differ in their interpersonal needs?

Research paper by Yera Y Hur, A Ra AR Cho, Sun S Huh, Sun S Kim

Indexed on: 23 Feb '17Published on: 23 Feb '17Published in: BMC Medical Education


Knowing one's interpersonal relationship preferences can be tremendously helpful for medical students' lives. The purpose of this study was to examine the interpersonal needs in medical students.Between 2010 and 2015, a total of 877 students from four Korean medical schools took the Korean version of the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation - Behaviour (FIRO-B) scale. The FIRO-B results were analyzed by descriptive statistics, frequency, independent t-test, and one-way ANOVA.The medical students' scores for interpersonal needs were moderate overall, with the highest scores for control (M = 8.63, SD = 3.08), followed by affection (M = 8.14, SD = 4.34), and inclusion (M = 7.81, SD = 4.30). Gender differences showed in three areas: expressed control (male > female, t = 4.137, p < 0.001), wanted affection (male < female, t = -3.148, p = 0.002), and control needs (male > female, t = 2.761, p = 0.006). By school type, differences were shown in expressed control (t = 3.581, p < 0.001), wanted inclusion (t = 2.625, p = 0.009), Inclusion (t = 1.966, p = 0.050), and expressed (t = 2.077, p = 0.038); undergraduate medical college (MC) students' needs were greater than the needs of graduate medical school (MS) students, but for wanted control, the MS students showed greater needs (t = -2.122, p = 0.034).There were differences in all categories except for expressed inclusion, wanted control, and control. The FIRO-B is a useful tool for giving insight into students regarding their interpersonal orientations, which will help them to adjust to medical school life. In addition, the FIRO-B can be useful when mentoring and coaching students.