Know Thyself: Natural and Adapted Behavior Styles of General and Plastic Surgery Residents

Anna Meade, Victor Chang, Sofia Duque, Suzanne J. Farmer, Andrew Y. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Resident miscommunication and fractured team dynamics are associated with decreased quality of patient care. Interventions to improve resident communication and team coordination include behavioral assessments, which promote leadership and communication skills. Methods: In this retrospective review, general and plastic surgery residents voluntarily completed the DISC (dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance) behavioral assessment. This validated tool is composed of four behavioral categories: dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S), and compliance (C). It is used to classify an individual's natural and adapted behavior styles. Results were anonymously collected and analyzed using the Pearson chi-square test. Results: Of 94 surgery residents, 84 completed the survey (89 percent): 43 men and 41 women. Surgery residents combined had a significantly higher percentage of natural C's compared to the general population (23 percent versus 14 percent; p = 0.02). The majority of surgery residents adapted to C in the work environment (39 versus 36 percent; p = 0.85). There was a significant difference in male and female general surgery adapted D profiles (4 percent versus 23 percent; p = 0.05). Conclusions: The pressure of accuracy in surgical residency attracts natural C individuals. Residents without a natural C behavioral profile tend to adapt to the C profile. The ability to recognize behavior traits is crucial in surgical residency. Developing a better understanding of one's own behavior will provide insight into personal risk factors for miscommunication and inefficient team dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-712
Number of pages11
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Know Thyself: Natural and Adapted Behavior Styles of General and Plastic Surgery Residents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this