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BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 24 October 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:S3a-7166

Cook was incorrect to say that there are few or no data on the personality profiles of UK medical staff (Cook M. BMJ 1998;classified suppl: Mar 14). Dr John Horton writes to cite his own work on a cohort of applicants shortlisted for training posts in anaesthetics (J Roy Soc Med 1993;86:400-3), all of whom completed a personality questionnaire before interview, and whose performance was then followed up for between 3 and 8 years. A regression analysis found that five factors were predictors of success: intelligence, warmheartedness, stability, and social boldness correlated positively; as did being neither too tense nor too relaxed.

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