Personal characteristics of health professionals: can they be changed by an educational program?
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The objectives of many graduate programs in the health sciences include the development of various personal characteristics, attitudes, and beliefs. A study was carried out to assess whether personal characteristics of graduate students could be affected by program participation and, if so, which specific personal characteristics could be changed. Three attitude tests were administered to three consecutive classes of mature health professionals, using a repetitive pre-post design. Results showed no difference from pre- to posttesting on the California Personality Inventory; a positive difference on one main scale and two subscales of the Personal Orientation Inventory (inner directedness, flexibility in application of values, and self-acceptance); and a negative difference on the Health Professional Survey (attitude toward working in teams). These findings suggest that many personal characteristics deemed important by program planners in the health sciences may more appropriately be criteria for admission than objectives of the program.
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