• We investigated the values and attitudes of junior medical students in relation to career preference (particularly surgery), ward behavior, and cognitive performance in the surgical clerkship. Students choosing specialty surgery were more cynical and authoritarian than those selecting general surgery. Those choosing general surgery had more self-esteem, and along with those who selected specialty surgery, more intolerance for ambiguity than other students. None of the values or attitudes were associated with grades, but several were related to ward behavior as judged by faculty and house staff. Students who valued academic achievement more and independence and intellectualism less and those with more submissive authoritarian views and more ego strength were considered better ward performers. This raises the question of whether such values and attitudes should be reinforced in ward performance or whether such students are rated higher simply because they are less disruptive to busy ward routines.
(Arch Surg 1982;117:1276-1280)