A friend shared this extremely amusing journal article with me recently about the likelihood of a medical resident’s self-proclaimed Hogwarts house in predicting what medical specialty they practice. A web survey was filled out by 251 residents from Carolinas Medical Center, with an approximate 43% response rate and 49% of them coming from surgical specialties. I was not too surprised to read that there were no self-proclaimed Slytherins in Family Medicine, and that surgical specialties had significantly more self-sorted Slytherins and fewer Hufflepuffs. The study breaks down the surgical specialties, and also found that there were significantly more Gryffindors in General Surgery, and more Slytherins in Orthopedic Surgery. All results were statistically significant. As stereotypical as it is, I do believe that certain traits associated with these houses can be more useful in different specialties. The past avid Harry Potter fan in me can tell you that generally, the broad traits associated with each house include bravery for Gryffindor, intelligence for Ravenclaw, happiness and friendship for Hufflepuff, and cunning and slyness for Slytherin. While I appreciate the uniqueness of this study in exploring characteristics common to each medical specialty, I think the study could be strengthened by including more questions regarding personality in the survey, rather than one point-blank question of asking “What Hogwarts house would you self-sort yourself into?” However, I acknowledge the battle between survey length and response rate, especially when it comes to participants who have limited time, such as medical residents. I am curious to see how this study may be expanded upon in the future, and wonder what results would look like when increasing the participant pool to make results more generalizable.
Alex is in her first year of residency in Internal Medicine at University of Michigan. While she is unsure what she would like to subspecialize in yet, Alex is considering allergy, rheumatology, and primary care. Her interest in medicine largely stems from her volunteer work in free clinics in underserved communities and experiences growing up with a brother with autism.
Before attending medical school, Alex completed her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University in 2014 and her Master of Public Health (concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology) at Yale University in 2016.
When she is not working in the hospital or studying, you can find Alex running by the lake, doing circuit workouts outdoors in the fields, drawing and/or writing, or at home spending time with her family in the suburbs of Chicago.