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MBTI: Personality types in healthcare jobs

January 25, 2022 0 Comments

While we often work with all manner of personalities, those in healthcare jobs may find they are working beside people more like them than they think.

As individuals with a range of personalities and characteristics we like to think of as unique, recruiters often recognize personalities as part of the employment screening process to ensure they put the best candidate forward based on personal characteristics (often aligned to soft skills) for healthcare jobs they are trying to fill.

One of the most tried-and-true measures for mapping employee personalities and also one of the most commonly known could be the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

What is MBTI?

For anyone who hasn’t come across it, MBTI has been around for over 70 years and is hugely popular – according to CPI, the MBTI publisher, over 88 of the Fortune 500 companies in 115 countries use it. Originally developed to help women who were entering the workforce for the first time during WWII to ascertain whereabouts they were best suited, MBTI was expanded over time until it was officially published in 1962.

MBTI grades personalities by comparing two tendencies of the following groupings:

I)ntroverted vs (E)xtroverted
“I” or “E” based on how you interact with others.

(S)ensing vs (I)ntuition
“S” or “I” depending on how you gather and process information. 

(T)hinking vs (F)eeling
“T” or “F” depending on your decision making (More “T” when driven by logic, “F” if guided by emotions)

(J)udging vs (P)erceiving
“J” when moved to act by carefully considered decisions, “P” because you are more adaptable to circumstance or subject to whim.

Gorilla Jobs Blog Personality Types in healthcare jobs Man and Woman holding each other in colourful jackets and background
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Once the MBTI analysis is done around these groupings, an individual can fall into one of 16 personality types:

  1. INTJ – the Architect
  2. INTP – the Logician
  3. ENTJ – the Commander
  4. ENTP – the Debater
  5. INFJ – the Advocate
  6. INFP – the Mediator
  7. ENFJ – the Protagonist
  8. ENFP – the Campaigner
  9. ISTJ – the Logistician
  10. ISFJ – the Defender
  11. ESTJ – the Executive
  12. ESFJ – the Consul
  13. ISTP – the Virtuoso
  14. ISFP – the Adventurer
  15. ESTP – the Entrepreneur
  16. ESFP – the Entertainer

(You can do a quick, free MBTI test here) – but this is just for fun and should not be taken to be as reliable as a full MBTI test!)

MBTI and healthcare jobs

Given the kind of base characteristics you assume healthcare professionals need, when it comes to recruiting for healthcare jobs you might suppose that a certain MBTI personality type is required.

However, think a little more laterally and it stands to reason that different roles across the healthcare sector come with different responsibilities and tasks, meaning that not only are different skill sets required, but also that different MBTI personality types fit with particular roles.

Here are some common healthcare jobs and the common MBTI types you might find gravitating towards them.

General Practitioner (GP)

GPs tend most often to fall under ISTJ, ESTJ or INTJ MBTI types, with the common factor of T(hinking) – working according to logic- and J(udging) – only acting according to carefully considered decisions – being standout critical characteristics of the role.

Health Service Managers

Those in managerial roles in medical or health services run quite close in personality type to GPs as ISTJs and ESTJs, with the variation being ENFPs, who also tend to gravitate and work well in these kinds of operational oversight roles.

Registered Nurses (RNs)

While RNs have the crossover with GPs of the ISTJ type, they also diverge somewhat into ISFJs and ESFJs. This makes sense given RNs often have more ongoing intimate patient contact, meaning an emotional aspect of decision making makes its way into the RN personality type. Nurses can also be part of the very unique INFP group (2% of the population), which also makes sense given the mediation skills required in the role.

Physio Therapist (PT)

Those in PT roles might find themselves falling into the rarest of the MBTI types – the INFJ. This stands to reason in that INFJs provides insight into a patient’s needs, motivations and concerns, and place great value in relationships. With this in mind, the INFJ is often referred to as “the Advocate”, a fitting title for what a PT does.

Occupational Therapist (OT)

OTs share some character traits of PTs but veer slightly away in tending towards the ISFP MBTI type. This is evidenced in the friendly, quiet observational aspect of ISFPs who like autonomy in the way they work, are committed to forming relationships and value harmony.

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