Identifying the Emergency Medicine Personality: A Multisite Exploratory Pilot Study

Jaime Jordan, Judith A. Linden, Martine C. Maculatis, H. Gene Hern, Jeffrey I. Schneider, Charlotte P. Wills, John P. Marshall, Alan Friedman, Lalena M. Yarris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aimed to understand the personality characteristics of emergency medicine (EM) residents and assess consistency and variations among residency programs. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a convenience sample of residents (N = 140) at five EM residency programs in the United States completed three personality assessments: the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)—describing usual tendencies; the Hogan Development Survey (HDS)—describing tendencies under stress or fatigue; and the Motives, Values, and Preferences Inventory (MVPI)—describing motivators. Differences between EM residents and a normative population of U.S. physicians were examined with one-sample t-tests. Differences between EM residents by program were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance tests. Results: One-hundred forty (100%), 124 (88.6%), and 121 (86.4%) residents completed the HPI, HDS, and MVPI, respectively. For the HPI, residents scored lower than the norms on the adjustment, ambition, learning approach, inquisitive, and prudence scales. For the HDS, residents scored higher than the norms on the cautious, excitable, reserved, and leisurely scales, but lower on bold, diligent, and imaginative scales. For the MVPI, residents scored higher than the physician population norms on altruistic, hedonistic, and aesthetics scales, although lower on the security and tradition scales. Residents at the five programs were similar on 22 of 28 scales, differing on one of 11 scales of the HPI (interpersonal sensitivity), two of 11 scales of the HDS (leisurely, bold), and three of 10 scales of the MVPI (aesthetics, commerce, and recognition). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the personality characteristics of EM residents differ considerably from the norm for physicians, which may have implications for medical students’ choice of specialty. Additionally, results indicated that EM residents at different programs are comparable in many areas, but moderate variation in personality characteristics exists. These results may help to inform future research incorporating personality assessment into the resident selection process and the training environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalAEM Education and Training
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Education
  • Emergency


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