Medical Student Studies

Studies of medical student career choice, personality, attitudes, and emotional intelligence.

Univ. of S. Florida $50k/yr Education / Medical Students / Past Project

To understand how medical student attitudes, academic performance, clinical success, and personality are related to career choice.
  • US medical students now are less likely to make their career in general surgery.  Even if they match in a residency in general surgery, about 20% drop out, and many go on to be specialists.
  • The lack of general surgeons translates to a staffing shortage.  It is important to figure out why students are avoiding choosing a career in general surgery.
  • Our research has found that medical students avoid choosing a career in general surgery mainly due to lack of controllable lifestyle.  This is true for both male and female students.
  • Our research has also found that medical students who choose general surgery as a career have made up their minds prior to entering medical school that they want this career.  Their experience in medical school does not influence them.
  • Despite beliefs to the contrary, there is no “surgeon” personality. Surgeons have all types of personalities.
Company Role
This has been an ongoing line of research in collaboration with Dr. Steven Goldin, now Professor of Surgery at University of South Florida College of Medicine.
From the beginning of the project, the company has assisted Dr. Goldin with the following:

  • Designing the initial protocol for a longitudinal study of medical students
  • Assisting with study design, statistical analysis, and IRB issues
  • Directing data collection and data analysis
  • Developing scientific manuscripts and presentations
  • Promoting cross-disciplinary research with experts in the field of psychology
USF Health building
Related Publications
Photos courtesy of Monika Wahi, OlgaFightingRaven531 and US Army.  Page updated July 8, 2015.