Background: Pharmacists choose different career paths which may have different requirements in terms of demands and environments, irrespective of knowledge and intellectual capability. A contributing factor could be personality whereby pharmacists seek to work in an environment which is compatible with their personality.
Objective: To explore the relationship between personality and career paths taken by pharmacists.
Methods: Data regarding pharmacists' personality profile as determined by The Gordon Personal Profile Inventory (GPPI) were gathered using an anonymous survey. The inventory booklet was mailed to all pharmacists registered to practice in Malta who were at the time residing in the country. Demographic data and information regarding areas of practice was also gathered. Analysis was carried out using variety of statistical tests including t-test, Manova and Multiple Correspondence Analysis.
Results: Most of the types of pharmacists considered, lie somewhat close to the average categories of the GPPI attributes, with those who work in importation and wholesale being the ones who stand out most from the rest by scoring high on self esteem, ascendency, original thinking, vigour, sociability. Those who work in industry and, especially, in hospitals are the two categories of pharmacists who seem to score low on the GPPI traits in general, while those who work in the Community scored high in personal relations and are a little more likely to score higher in cautiousness and responsibility.
Conclusion: Pharmacists are not a homogeneous group of individuals. It is evident that their personality is a significant factor in the career path that they have chosen. Not all pharmacists possess personalities that are conducive to patient-oriented practice. Those that do not primarily possess the latter personality traits, appear to have chosen to practice in non-traditional areas where, possibly, they have found a good fit with their personality and other factors.