Psychoanalysis.  2021 Jul;32(3):107-111. 10.18529/psychoanal.2021.32.3.107.

The Relationship of Pre-Clerkship Immature Defense Style in Medical Students with Physician-Patient Interactions

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Korea
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, Korea
  • 3Gyeongsang National University Changwon Hospital, Changwon, Korea


The ability of medical students to form positive relationships with patients is influenced by the students’ personality.The psychological characteristics necessary for effective physician-patient interactions (PPIs) have not been identified.
In August of 2012, 2013, and 2014, second-year medical students at Gyeongsang National University completed the Korean version of the Defense Style Questionnaire (K-DSQ). Following completion of their 2-year clerkships, the students completed the KDSQ again. Of the 216 second-year students, 187 (94 males and 93 females) aged 24-38 years (mean, 28.9±2.8 years) completed the K-DSQ at year 4. PPIs were rated by standardized patients during practical examinations following the clerkships.
Female sex (β=-0.157, p=0.035) and a more immature defense style in year 2 (β=0.197, p=0.027) were significant predictors of better PPIs in year 4. An increase in humor during the clinical clerkship (β=0.171, p=0.030) and female sex (β=-0.170, p=0.023) were significant predictors of the year-4 PPI ratings.
Female sex and a more immature defense style in the second year, as well as an increase in humor during clerkships predicted positive PPIs.


Immature defense style; Humor; Medical students; Physician-patient interactions.
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