Comparison of Perceived Personality Traits Between the Pharmacy Residents Admitted Through the Match or Scramble Process

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Introduction: The purpose of this study is to determine whether certain personality traits are as prominent in pharmacy practice residents who obtain positions through the post-Match process, previously referred to as the Scramble, as compared to residents who match directly with programs. Methods: Pharmacy residency program directors (RPDs) across the United States were asked to complete an electronic survey that gauged RPD perceptions of 13 personality traits commonly seen in pharmacy residents. RPDs were requested to separately evaluate residents who Scrambled and Matched to their respective programs. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to determine factor structure for the personality traits and to assess whether factors associate differentially between Matched and Scrambled residents. Results: A total of 1876 RPDs of post-graduate year one (PGY1), post-graduate year two (PGY2), and combined PGY1 and PGY2 pharmacy residency programs were contacted for study participation with a response rate of 21 percent. Demographic variables related to program type and number of residents per class were similar between Scrambled and Matched groups. The EFA identified two factors across 13 traits: we termed them as traditional traits and grit-like traits, and they significantly differed between the Scramble and Match groups. RPD perception of traditional traits (nine traits) were significantly higher in the Match group (p < 0.05), whereas perceived grit-like traits (four traits) were significantly higher in the Scramble group (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Residency candidates who Match versus candidates who Scramble are perceived to have unique and significantly different personality traits.