Tag Archives: personality

Traits to Treat: Personality in Medicine


Tailoring your medical career to fit your personality

Are you better off as a surgeon or in palliative care? MD/PhD student Jacquelyn Nielson, M2 Hend Al-Kaylani, and M1 Fallon Jung play with personality to see if their path toward choosing the right medical specialty should be dependent on their personality traits. From the introspective nature of psychiatry to the rapid decision-making required in emergency medicine, Dave and crew explore how tests like The Big 5 or Meyers Briggs might influence their specialty choices. Some question the scientific validity of most personality testing, but the Big Five has some evidence behind it, so Dave also created a custom GPT to analyze their test results and suggest best (and worst) specialties for all of them. This episode also touches upon the broader implications of these choices on personal satisfaction and professional success in medicine. Also, we ponder our consumption of news and its impact on mental health and the Kate Middleton mystery’s hold on the world.

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Continue reading Traits to Treat: Personality in Medicine

Is Your Affective Presence Killing Your Dream?


You can have the best scores and grade, but personality counts


  • Affective presence is the lasting and stable impressions your interaction partners get from you.
  • Your scores and grades only get you in the door.
  • It’s your personality that makes you a medical student, and later, a doctor.  So make sure you’re giving off the right vibes!
  • Listener Kalmen reminds us of a paths for some students who don’t match.

Dave continues his ruminations about why a very few people don’t match into residency.  He thinks that some of those people (who weren’t the victims of luck or strategic errors) were burdened by a negative affective presence–the feelings that others have about interpersonal interactions with them.

Which brings up (at least) two questions:  how do you know if people have a negative impression of your affective presence?  And even if you do notice, how do you fix it?  M4 Holly Conger, M3 Emma Barr, and M1s Albert Pedroza and Rick Gardner help him hash it out.

And reacting to Dave’s other concerns about graduating students having additional paths if they don’t match, listener Kalmen writes in to theshortcoats@gmail.com to point out that some states do have such a path.  These states offer licensing for so-called associate or assistant physicians. Aside from the confusing name of this kind of practitioner, Dave is down with that because he just wants everyone to be happy.  But many–including Holly–aren’t so sure.

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Continue reading Is Your Affective Presence Killing Your Dream?