Purpose: Clinician-supervisors often work simultaneously as doctors and teachers. Supervisors who are more engaged for their teacher work are evaluated as better supervisors. Work engagement is affected by the work environment, yet the role of supervisors' personality traits is unclear. This study examined (i) the impact of supervisors' personality traits on work engagement in their doctors' and teachers' roles and (ii) how work engagement in both roles affects their teaching performance.
Methods: Residents evaluated supervisors' teaching performance, using the validated System for Evaluation of Teaching Qualities. Supervisors' reported work engagement in doctor and teacher roles separately using the validated Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. Supervisors' personality traits were measured using the Big Five Inventory's five factor model covering conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, emotional stability and openness.
Results: Overall, 549 (68%) residents and 636 (78%) supervisors participated. Conscientiousness, extraversion and agreeableness were positively associated with supervisors' engagement in their teacher work, which was subsequently positively associated with teaching performance.
Conclusions: Conscientious, extraverted, and agreeable supervisors showed more engagement with their teacher work, which made them more likely to deliver adequate residency training. In addition to optimizing the work environment, faculty development and career planning could be tailor-made to fit supervisors' personality traits.