Personality traits in newly enrolled medical students

Rasgos de personalidad en alumnos de reciente ingreso a la carrera de medicina
Alejandro Torres Valenzuelaa, Gloria Yolanda Velázquez Hernándezb, Ariam Andrea Martínez Lunab, Jonatan García Garcíab, Magaly Gómez Rodríguezb, Luis Alejandro Jasso Jiménezb, y Dulcelina Ortiz Valdiviab

a Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Durango, Durango, México
b Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Durango, México

Recibido el 16 de agosto de 2016; aceptado el 20 de febrero de 2017

Palabras Clave

Estudiantes de medicina; 16 factores de personalidad; Educación médica


Medical students; 16 personality factors; Medical education


Introduction: Personality refers to dynamic characteristics of the person, and is a pattern of feelings, emotions and thoughts, related to behaviour over time in various situations. It also provides independence and differentiates the individual, marking an identity, and thus distinguishes them from others. Knowing the personality traits will enable medical students to plan educational activities to promote their training and be better physicians.

Objective: To identify the attributes that describe individual differences in newly enrolled medical students, as well as order their traits and classify them into basic dimensions using the Cattell Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF).

Method: A cross-sectional survey conducted on students recently enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine of the Juarez State University of Durango, using the Cattel 16PF questionnaire.

Results: The study included a total of 163 students with a mean age of 19.4 ± 0.95 years, and 58.3% were females. In decreasing order, the higher values were: I (sensibility), F (impetuosity), Q4 (tension), Q2 (individualism), and B (problem solving), while the ones that obtained the lowest values were, from the lowest to the higher: Q1 (rebellion), N (diplomacy), M (imagination), O (confidence), G (responsibility), and C (emotional stability).

Conclusion: The profile found in the medicine students showed that they are conservative, naïve, tense, care-free, and sensitive, whilst, they are not very meticulous, imaginative, realistic, or inquisitive. These points are particularly required to create educational strategies that encourage their medical growth.