Improving comprehensive surgical resident training through use of the NEO Five-Factor Personality Inventory: results from a cohort-based trial

Am J Surg. 2011 Jun;201(6):828-34. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010.02.018. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Background: This study uses the NEO-Five Factor Personality Inventory (NEO) to assess its value in identifying resident educational needs.

Methods: A cohort of surgical residents (n = 65) were administered the NEO. Statistical analysis compared the results between previously determined national norms and between varying resident demographics.

Results: The resident scores of Extroversion, Openness, and Conscientiousness were significantly higher than those of the US population and Agreeableness was significantly lower. By gender, only Agreeableness was statistically higher for female residents. The mean Extroversion score for residents who were postgraduate years (PGYs) 3 to 5 was significantly higher than that of PGYs 1 to 2. Further subanalyses were conducted on each primary component.

Conclusions: The NEO was valuable for identifying areas where training could be especially useful to augment Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core competencies. The use of this test on resident populations could be of significant value for tailoring comprehensive surgical leadership education programs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards
  • Internship and Residency / trends*
  • Leadership
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Personality Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas