Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Study Presented at ACEP Symposium: EM Physicians Risk Takers?

From the WSJ Health Blog:

....she wanted to find out whether the ER really did draw thrill seekers or it was just a medical myth. So they gave a test called “Are You a Risk Taker?” (it’s something like this) to 87 emergency medicine residents and 77 family medicine residents to find out. (They chose family medicine because both family practitioners and ER docs are generalists, Bascom said.) They’re presenting the results today at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians in Seattle.

The test breaks personality types down into several categories: Impulsive Sensation Seeking, Neuroticism-Anxiety, Aggression-Hostility, Sociability, and Activity. Emergency medicine residents scored in the high range more frequently in every category than family medicine residents. The difference was only statistically significant in one category, but it’s a notable one: “Impulsive Sensation Seeking.” A tad more than 19% of emergency medicine residents scored high in that category, compared with just over 5% of family medicine residents. (FYI: Bascom took the test for fun, and she, too, scored high on Impulsive Sensation Seeking.)

The difference in Neuroticism-Anxiety is also striking, even if it’s not statistically significant: 11.4% for the ER, versus 3.8% for family practice. Bascom wasn’t surprised.of the result. ER docs “are a little more tightly wound,” she told us.


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