The effect of personal character on the results of clinical performance skill tests.

Research paper by Sung Joon SJ Shin, Kyung Soo KS Kim, Dong Seok DS Lee

Indexed on: 01 Jun '11Published on: 01 Jun '11Published in: Korean journal of medical education


Even though many studies have indicated that the personality of medical students affects learning style and academic achievement, the effect of personality types on the performance skill tests has not been well known in the medical field due to the rarity of published papers. Thus, the aim of this study was to reveal the effect of personal traits on clinical skill performance tests.Fifty-seven fourth-grade medical students were enrolled in this study. They had all completed clinical performance tests. To assess personality types, we used the Korean version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).Fifty-five of 57 senior medical students responded completely to the MBTI questionnaire. The proportion of four paired MBTI dimensions was Introversion (I)-Extroversion (E) (67.3% vs. 32.7%), Sensing (S)-Intuition (I) (76.4% vs. 23.6%), Thinking (T)-Feeling (F) (61.8% vs. 38.2%), and Judging (J)-Perception (P) (56.4% vs. 43.6%). The dominant personality types were ISTJ (23.6%), ESTJ (14.5%), and ISTP (10.9%). The first objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) test showed higher scores in Extraversion, Judging, and Sensing-Judging types compared to the counterparts (p<0.05), but this effect was not observed in the second OSCE test. On the clinical performance examination, Extraversion, Sensing, and Judging types had a higher score, as measured by standardized patients.Specific personal traits affect the test scores of the clinical performance skill examinations. So, personality measurement might be a useful tool for understanding a student who has difficulty in performance tests. We hope this study will give valuable information to examiners when they instruct and counsel students about clinical performance tests.