Personality tests could predict physician burnout
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 6, 2004
Testing personality and learning styles before medical school could have predicted dissatisfaction among physicians, according to a new study in BMC Medicine.
A 12-year study of British doctors found that approaches to work are predicted by earlier measures of study habits and learning styles. Doctors' perceptions of their work environment, and their feelings of stress and burnout, are predicted mainly by personality, the study said.
Doctors who reported a high workload found it difficult to organize their time effectively and often read things without understanding them. They consistently reported higher levels of neuroticism and lower levels of conscientiousness over the 12 years studied.
Doctors who said they were not receiving enough support from colleagues were themselves less agreeable. Those who described colleagues as receptive and supportive were deemed to be more agreeable. Physicians who reported a high degree of satisfaction with medicine as a career tended to be more extroverted and less neurotic.
The study is available online (link).
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/09/06/prbf0906.htm.