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Table 2 Associations of personality traits with employment sector a, clinical patient work b, and medical specialty c among 2837 Finnish physicians and with change of specialty damong 986 Finnish physicians

From: Personality traits and career choices among physicians in Finland: employment sector, clinical patient contact, specialty and change of specialty

Big 5 traits Extraversion Conscien-tiousness Openness to Experience Agreeableness Neuroticism
Career variable β (95% CI) β (95% CI) β (95% CI) β (95% CI) β (95% CI)
Employment sectora
 Public (n = 2061) − 0.016 (− 0.07–0.03) − 0.037 (− 0.09–0.01) − 0.031*** (− 0.08–0.02) − 0.045*** (− 0.09–0.01) − 0.041 (− 0.09–0.01)
 Private (n = 776) 0.070 (− 0.01–0.15) − 0.001 (− 0.08–0.08) 0.122*** (0.04–0.20) 0.137*** (0.06–0.21) − 0.118 (− 0.19- -0.04)
Clinical patient contactb
 No patient contact (n = 205) − 0.089* (− 0.18–0.00) − 0.059 (− 0.15–0.03) 0.090* (0.00–0.18) 0.017 (− 0.07–0.11) − 0.009 (− 0.10–0.08)
 Some patient contact (1–12 h/week; n = 587) 0.060 (− 0.01–0.13) − 0.010 (− 0.08–0.06) 0.050 (− 0.02–0.12) 0.026 (− 0.04–0.10) − 0.062 (− 0.13–0.01)
 Patient contact ca half of the time (13–26 h/week; n = 1377) 0.002 (− 0.05–0.06) − 0.004 (− 0.06–0.05) − 0.060* (− 0.12- -0.00) − 0.012 (− 0.07–0.04) 0.068 (0.01–0.12)
 Patient contact most of the time (27 h/week or more; n = 668) 0.028 (− 0.04–0.10) 0.073* (0.01–0.14) − 0.080* (− 0.15- -0.01) − 0.031 (− 0.10–0.04) 0.002 (− 0.07–0.07)
Medical Specialtyc
 Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (n = 187) 0.057 (− 0.08–0.20) − 0.125 (− 0.26–0.01) − 0.011 (− 0.15–0.13) − 0.109 (− 0.25–0.03) 0.011 (− 0.13–0.15)
 Surgery (n = 229) 0.089 (− 0.04–0.22) 0.178** (0.52–0.30) − 0.020 (− 0.15–0.11) − 0.214** (− 0.34- -0.09) − 0.184** (− 0.31- -0.06)
 Pediatrics (n = 164) 0.156* (0.01–0.30) 0.090 (− 0.05–0.23) 0.135 (− 0.01–0.28) 0.084 (− 0.06–0.23) − 0.098 (− 0.24–0.05)
 Obstetrics and Gynecology (n = 186) 0.078 (− 0.06–0.22) 0.074 (− 0.06–0.21) − 0.122*** (− 0.26–0.02) 0.096 (− 0.04–0.23) − 0.102 (− 0.24–0.04)
 Psychiatry (n = 306) − 0.112* (− 0.22- -0.00) − 0.146** (− 0.25--0.04) 0.235*** (0.12–0.34) 0.010 (− 0.10–0.12) 0.051 (− 0.06–0.16)
Medical Specialtyc
 Radiology (n = 104) − 0.146 (− 0.33–0.03) 0.059 (− 0.12–0.24) 0.094 (− 0.08–0.27) − 0.068 (− 0.25–0.11) 0.136 (− 0.04–0.31)
 Internal Medicine and Oncology (n = 143) − 0.015 (− 0.17–0.14) − 0.050 (− 0.20–0.10) 0.019 (− 0.13–0.17) 0.057 (− 0.10–0.21) 0.109 (− 0.04–0.26)
 Ophthalmology and Otorhinolaryngology (n = 131) 0.091 (− 0.07–0.25) 0.060 (− 0.10–0.22) − 0.166 (− 0.33- -0.01) − 0.010 (− 0.17–0.15) 0.025 (− 0.14–0.19)
 Other specialties of Internal Medicine (n = 434) − 0.021 (− 0.12–0.07) 0.095* (0.00–0.19) 0.010 (− 0.08–0.10) − 0.048 (− 0.14–0.05) 0.087 (− 0.01–0.18)
 Occupational Health (n = 271) − 0.047 (− 0.17–0.07) 0.008 (− 0.11–0.13) − 0.011 (− 0.13–0.11) 0 .183** (0.06–0.30) − 0.100 (− 0.22–0.02)
 General Practice (n = 561) − 0.054 (− 0.14–0.03) − 0.017 (− 0.10–0.07) − 0.157*** (− 0.24- -0.07) 0.098 (0.01–0.18) 0.010 (− 0.08–0.10)
 Hospital Service Specialties (n = 121) − 0.074 (− 0.24–0.10) − 0.226** (− 0.39- -0.06) − 0.006 (− 0.17–0.16) − 0.080 (− 0.25–0.09) 0.054 (− 0.11–0.22)
Change of Specialtyd
 Specialty not changed (n = 893) 0.015* (−0.06–0.08) 0.029 (− 0.04–0.10) 0.040* (− 0.03–0.11) 0.068 (− 0.00–0.14) − 0.110 (− 0.18- -0.04)
 Specialty changed (n = 93) 0.242* (0.04–0.44) 0.065 (− 0.14–0.27) 0.256* (0.05–0.46) 0.264 (0.06–0.47) − 0.295 (− 0.49- -0.10)
  1. Note. The results are based on analyses of covariance with posthoc tests for pairwise comparisons. β = Standardized regression coefficient (Mean = 0, SD = 1). 95% CI = 95% confidence interval for Exp (β). *p < 0.05: **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001. Scores for personality traits range from 1 to 5, with higher scores indicating higher levels of the trait
  2. aAdjusted for gender, age, clinical patient contact (hours per week; treated as a continuous variable) and specialty. Physicians working in the public sector serve as a reference group
  3. bAdjusted for gender, age, employment sector (public vs. private) and specialty
  4. cAdjusted for gender, age, employment sector and clinical patient contact
  5. dAdjusted for gender, age, employment sector and clinical patient contact (hours per week; treated as a continuous variable). Physicians who did not change their specialty serve as a reference group. Specialists who responded the first time to the survey only in 2015 (n = 1650) and who had missing data on some of the control variables (n = 201) were excluded from the analyses
  6. b, c, dThe contrasts between groups are based on the standardized average mean (with a mean of zero and a standard deviation of one) of all specialists who form a reference group