Knowing Your Personality Traits Can Help You Succeed In Medicine

March 23, 2016

By Kelsey Lyon, OMS II

During my first week of medical school we were administered the results of the Myers-Briggs personality survey that we were asked to take online prior to starting school. Upon receiving our results we then had a session on what our four letter results meant and how we can use them to help us progress through medical school and medicine, in general. So how can knowing if you are an “INTJ” or an “ENFJ” or an “ESTP”, etc. help you succeed both in school and in your professional life? The answer is that learning the personality traits that most align with you as an individual can help you identify how you will best learn and work with others based on these character traits.

First though, lets provide some background. The Myers-Brigs Personality test indicates the psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. There are 4 major categories and within each of the four categories there are two personality traits that individuals are then classified as one or the other.

The break down is as followed:

  1. Attitudes à Extraversion/Introversion
  2. Perceiving Functions à Sensing/Intuition
  3. Judging Functions à Thinking/Feeling
  4. Lifestyle Preferences à Judging/Perception

This results in 16 different personality classifications that individuals can fall into. So once you know what personality classification you are how can you use this information to your benefit? As an example, an individual who is an ESTJ is defined as being a “executive”.  This individual uses personal values and the understanding of right and wrong to provide guidance and advice. In addition, these individuals are natural born leaders who tend to lead by example. Their weaknesses however are that they tend to be stubborn and judgmental. While this is only one example, every personality classification has specific traits and characteristics to them. Identifying and acknowledging these traits can then allow individuals to better themselves in school and in their profession.

To see all of the personality classifications and the traits associated with them visit the following website: https://www.16personalities.com/estj-strengths-and-weaknesses. This site provides a thorough breakdown of each personality trait and how it can influence one in all areas of life.


Kelsey Lyon, OMS II
Student Wellness Coordinator
AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee