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The urological personality: is it unique?
Department of Surgery (Urology), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC,
Oct 2004 (Vol. 11, Issue 5, Pages( 2401 - 2406)

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  • OBJECTIVES: To develop a preliminary characterization of the urological personality. METHODS: Thirty-four urology residents (29 male) from all eleven Canadian training programs anonymously completed the Revised NEO personality inventory (NEO-PI-R©), a commercially available validated personality assessment tool in which participants agree or disagree with a compilation of 240 statements. A score is generated in each of five character traits according to the five factor theory of personality: extraversion (E), openness (O), conscientiousness (C), agreeableness (A) and neuroticism (N). The group mean on each scale was compared to the normative mean for the general adult population using one-sample, two-tailed t tests. RESULTS: Urology residents scored significantly higher than the general population on three of the five personality factors: extraversion (E) (p<.001), openness (O) (p<.02) and conscientiousness (C) (p<.05). There was no significant difference from norms in agreeableness (A) or neuroticism (N). CONCLUSIONS: The high scores in 'extraversion' reflect the social, warm, active and talkative nature of urology residents. As well, urology residents tend to be willing to entertain new ideas and are purposeful and determined based on their high scores on 'openness' and 'conscientiousness' respectively. Canadian urology residents possess a distinct personality in comparison to the general population. These provocative findings should be interpreted with caution. If confirmed on a wider basis, the data may be helpful in career counseling and resident selection. Future studies examining differences between the urological personality and other surgical subspecialties may further refine applications of the data.

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