Personality traits of pharmacy and medical students throughout their course of studies

Main Article Content

Maria Cordina
Mary-Anne Lauri
Raphael Buttigieg
Josef Lauri


Personality Assessment, Personality, Social Behavior, Self Concept, Students, Pharmacy, Medical, Longitudinal Studies, Malta


Background: Pharmacists and medical doctors are two professional groups that very often receive their education and practice in the same environment. However, their approach to patient care and collaboration tends to be different and this may lead to both frustration and conflict which may adversely affect patient care. Personality has been identified as a psychological issue that could contribute to conflict in a work situation.

Objective: To study the personality traits of a cohort of students studying pharmacy and medicine at the University of Malta in their first and final year.

Methods: The Gordon Personal Profile – Inventory was administered to a cohort of pharmacy and medical students in their first year and once again administered to the same cohort who completed their course of study in their final year. Basic demographic data was also collected.

Results: In first year the most pronounced traits for both student groups were those of Emotional Stability and Personal Relations. Over a period of five years, there were shifts in personality traits. In their final year pharmacy students were characterized by high scores for Cautiousness and Personal Relations while medical students exhibited medium scores in Cautiousness and Emotional Stability.

Conclusion: The changes in personality traits over the duration of the course were not radical changes but rather that of traits becoming more pronounced.


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