PQA - Measuing the personal qualities and abilities of aspiring health professionals

Presentation at Australian Conference on Personality and Individual Differences,

Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, 7 - 8 December 2007

Munro D, Bore M, Powis D (2007)

Personality determinants of interpersonal professional behaviours: explorations with medicine and psychology students.

For some years we have been exploring aspects of personality that relate to the interpersonal skills of medical students and doctors (e.g., Munro, Bore & Powis, 2005, Australian Journal of Psychology). Earlier work led to a tentative "Big 3" model. In this presentation we will describe an extension of this work using an instrument comprising ten further facets of personality that have also emerged as relevant to professional skills. These facets centre on mental health and self control factors. Samples of medical students from two universities (N = 187) and 1st and 2nd year psychology students (N = 135) completed an experimental version of the scales, with some also completing other personality scales. The factor solutions suggest a revised model using three composite dimensions, labelled (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) "Steady," "Sane" and "Nice," which may provide a basis for predicting the interpersonal behaviours of professionals (e.g., sensitively dealing with patients/clients).