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Educ Health (Abingdon). 2017 Jan-Apr;30(1):26-30. doi: 10.4103/1357-6283.210499.

Using a personality inventory to identify risk of distress and burnout among early stage medical students.

Author information

1
Research, Rancho Research Institute, Downey, California, USA.
2
Department of Family Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
3
Department of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
4
School of Applied Life Sciences, Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont, California, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Distress and burnout are common among medical students and negatively impact students' physical, mental, and emotional health. Personality inventories such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), used in medical education, may have a role in identifying burnout risk early.

METHODS:

The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey study among 185 1st year medical students with the MBTI, the general well-being schedule (GWB), and Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS). Descriptive statistics and one-way MANOVAs were used to identify the prevalence and differences in MBTI preferences and distress/burnout risk.

RESULTS:

Response rate was 185/185 (100%). Distress (GWB) was reported by 84/185 (45.4%). High scores on exhaustion were reported by 118/182 (64.8%), cynicism by 76/182 (41.8%), and decreased professional efficacy by 38/182 (20.9%) for the three dimensions of the MBI-SS. Only 21/182 (11.5%) of respondents had high scores on all three dimensions of burnout. Students with MBTI preferences for extraversion reported greater positive well-being (P < 0.05), self-control (P < 0.05), professional efficacy (P < 0.01), and lower levels of depression (P < 0.01) compared with those with introversion preference.

DISCUSSION:

Distress and burnout are prevalent early in medical training. The significant difference between extraversion and introversion in relation to distress and burnout deserves further study. Use of a personality inventory may help identify students at risk of burnout and allow appropriate early stress management.

PMID:
28707633
DOI:
10.4103/1357-6283.210499
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