The personality profiles of Specialist Anaesthetists, Trainee Anaesthetists and Specialist Physicians were examined using Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory. These were compared with validated Community Sample 'average values' and a historical Norwegian Physician sample. Completed forms were returned from 364 doctors (Specialist Anaesthetists 222, Trainee Anaesthetists 75, Physicians 67), an overall response rate of 71%. Specialist Anaesthetists were more Cooperative, Harm Avoidant and Self-Directed than the Community Sample but less Reward Dependent, Novelty Seeking and Persistent than the Community Sample. Physicians were more Cooperative than their Specialist Anaesthetist colleagues, but both more so than were the general population. Trainee anaesthetists appear to be more Novelty Seeking and Reward Dependent than the Specialist Anaesthetists, this factor being predominately age related. Extreme/Mild personality traits were identified in 33% of Specialists, 41% of Trainees and 33% of Physicians, whilst personality disorders were found at the expected rates (Specialist Anaesthetists 9%, Trainee Anaesthetists 10%, Physicians 2%). Personality assessment has implications for recruitment, crisis management and professional development within anaesthesia.