Understanding the Personality Traits of Medical Students Using the Five Factor Model

  •  Mustaffa M. B.    
  •  Nasir R.    
  •  Khairudin R.    
  •  Zainah A. Z.    
  •  Wan Shahrazad W. S.    
  •  Syed Salim S. S.    


Performance of both medical students and doctors is influenced by certain personality characteristics. It is therefore important to choose students with the right personality besides excellent performance academically for medical schools. The main objective of this study was therefore to ascertain the personality of students studying medicine based on gender and year of study. Participants for this study were 1029 medical students in seven universities in Peninsular Malaysia. They were selected by stratified random sampling. NEO personality Inventory-Revised was used to measure personality. Results showed that the medical students differ significantly in openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness based on gender. Female students scored higher on conscientiousness than male students. Apart from that the fifth year students scored highest on conscientiousness and lowest on neuroticism compared to those in the lower year of study. The implication of this study indicated that places in medical study program should be given to students with the right personality besides having excellent academic results.

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