The interrelationship of personality with stress in medical students
Background and Aim: Medicine, as we know, is a demanding career and students of medicine are prone to various forms of stress. Medical curriculum is stressful and requires the right type of personality to cope with the vast curriculum and study schedule. Stress adversely affects the students’ academic performance and clinical skills. The sources of stress if studied along with the physiology of the learners’ personality will help the students make the right career choice, thereby minimizing stress. Hence, if a student’s personality is analyzed, a right career option may be made and stress may be reduced, to produce competent doctors. Therefore, the present study looks into the relationship of personality with the types of stresses faced by medical students. Methods: This cross‑sectional study was conducted in a medical college in East India. Students were given two validated questionnaires. Medical student stress questionnaire assesses the sources of stresses in medical students and classifies it into six types. The big‑five personality questionnaire classifies students as having five major personality traits. The data were analyzed by Student’s t‑test and Chi‑square test using SPSS version 22. Results: Most of the medical students have academic stressors and agreeable personality traits with uniform gender distribution. Agreeable females have more academic stress. Overall, agreeable students have more statistically significant academic stress (P < 0.01). Conclusion: An ideal doctor has an agreeable personality which most of our students have. The right blend of personality traits helps in alleviating stress, improving the academic outcome. The type of stress faced by the students and his/her personality should be kept in mind while helping students make a career choice and in curriculum designing.