Written in the stars: did your specialty choose you?

Postgrad Med J. 2022 Mar;98(1157):205-211. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-139058. Epub 2021 Jan 7.


Purpose of the study: Established over 2000 years ago, horoscopes remain a regular feature in contemporary society. We aimed to assess whether there could be a link between zodiac sign and medical occupation, asking the question-did your specialty choose you?

Study design: A questionnaire-based study was distributed using an online survey tool. Questions explored the zodiac sign, specialty preferences and personality features of physicians.

Results: 1923 physicians responded between February and March 2020. Variations in personality types between different medical specialties were observed, introverts being highly represented in oncology (71.4%) and rheumatology (65.4%), and extroverts in sexual health (55%), gastroenterology (44.4%) and obstetrics and gynaecology (44.2%) (p<0.01). Proportions of zodiac signs in each specialty also varied; for example, cardiologists were more likely to be Leo compared with Aries (14.4% vs 3.9%, p=0.047), medical physicians more likely Capricorn than Aquarius (10.4% vs 6.7%, p=0.02) and obstetricians and gynaecologists more likely Pisces than Sagittarius (17.5% vs 0%, p=0.036). Intensive care was the most commonly reported second choice career, but this also varied between zodiac signs and specialties. Fountain pen use was associated with extroversion (p=0.049) and gastroenterology (p<0.01).

Conclusions: Personality types vary in different specialties. There may be links to zodiac signs which warrant further investigation.

Keywords: education & training; medical education & training.

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics*
  • Personality
  • Physicians*
  • Specialization
  • Students, Medical*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires