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Psychol Rep. 1998 Apr;82(2):547-59.

Personality profiles of male and female positive role models in medicine.

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Pfizer Medical Humanities Initiative, New York, NY, USA.


This study was designed to investigate the personality profile of positive role models in medicine. Participants were a national sample of 188 physicians (164 men, 24 women) who had been nominated by the chief executive officers of their institutions as positive role models and who completed the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. Compared to the general population, these 188 male and female positive role models in medicine scored higher on Conscientious factor, and on Achievement Striving, Activity, Competence, Dutifulness, Trust, Assertiveness, and Altruism facets, but they scored lower on the Vulnerability facet than the general population. In addition, the male role models scored significantly higher than men in the general population on the Agreeableness factor, and the female role models obtained significantly higher scores than the population norms on Extraversion and Openness factors, and on Feelings, Ideas, Positive Emotions, Values, Warmth, Aesthetics, and Fantasy facets. The female role models scored far below their sex-related norms on Neuroticism factor and on Angry Hostility facet. Comparisons between the male and female role models showed that the female role models scored higher on the Openness factor, and on the Feelings, Positive Emotions, Aesthetics, and Fantasy facets of personality. Implications in medical education and in explaining, assessing, and improving the qualities that contribute to professional success and in promoting the concept of "positive medicine" are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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