AbstractBACKGROUND: There is lack of research on predictors of perceived recording skills (PRS) among medical students and doctors. Good recording skills are important to ensure a quality medical record and thereby good patient care. In addition higher levels of PRS protect against stress related to clinical work among young physicians.OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether attending different medical curricula or having certain personality traits predict the levels of perceived recording skills among medical students and young doctors. PARTICIPANTS: All medical students at all four Norwegian universities (n = 421) were mailed questionnaires on entry to their medical course (T0). Respondents were surveyed again at the end (T1) of their 6-year courses as well as in their 4th post-graduate year (T2). The study sample comprised the 312 students who responded at all three time points (74%). Two of the universities organized their curriculum according to the traditional division between pre-clinical and clinical parts, with a comprehensive exam in between. At the two other sites the teaching of pre-clinical and clinical subjects was integrated. Perceived recording skills were measured by six items covering their preceding six patient interviews. The respondents evaluated their performance in obtaining the medical history using a seven point scale (Appendix).RESULTS: Students graduating from a traditional curriculum have the same level of reported perceived recording skills as students from an integrated curriculum. The traditional curriculum students experience a greater increase in perceived recording skills than the integrated curriculum students from the last year of medical school to the 4th year after graduation. Extraversion predicted higher levels of PRS, neuroticism lower levels of PRS.CONCLUSION: A traditional curriculum and the personality dimension of extraversion favors a positive development of perceived recording skills in the first years of the medical career.