Personality and Learning Styles of Final-Year Medical Students and the Impact of these Variables on Medical Specialty Choices


  • Irem Budakoglu
  • Onur Karabacak
  • Ozlem Coskun
  • Nese Karabacak


Objective: Medical student profile is changing on campuses today and there is a much greater variation in the range of personality type and learning style preferences to be considered. In this study it is aimed to determine the learning styles of medical school students at Gazi University and to find out whether there is any relationship between students’ personality types, learning style preferences and their medical specialty choices.

Methods: The study was conducted on 170 final year students (96.6%) at the Gazi University School of Medicine in the 2011-2012 academic year. The authors used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to determine the personality traits and Grasha Riechmann Student Learning Style Scale (GRSLSS) to establish the learning styles.

Results: During the study, 91.8% of the students declared that they wanted to be a specialist and 4.1% wanted to be a general practitioner in the near future. Most preferred specialty appeared to be dermatology (11.2%) in whole group. Choices of female students who want to be a specialist were dermatology, ophthalmology and obstetrics and gynecology and their distributions were 22.8%, 13.0% and 9.8%, respectively (p<0.05). The most common personality type in all preferred specialty areas was Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging (ISTJ). The students with ISTJ personality type had a higher score on the collaborative and competitive learning style.

Conclusion:  Last-year medical students are characterized by a ISTJ personality type in most of the medical specialty preferences. Furthermore, these students have collaborative and competitive learning styles. 


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Original Research