The Specialty and Naughty/Nice Tendency Audit (SANTA): which medical specialists can be trusted to follow recipes?

Shian Miller and Tamara C Johnson
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (11): 487-489. || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00811


Objective: To evaluate the influence of medical specialty on the likelihood of doctors making the Naughty or Nice lists this Christmas.

Design, setting, and participants: A quantitative observational study. Doctors in a medical parent Facebook group were asked about their specialty and their tendency to follow recipes.

Main outcome measures: Self-reported tendency to follow the recipe (always, sometimes, never) as an indicator of rule-breaking behaviour, extrapolated as indicating Naughty (unlikely to follow a recipe) or Nice (always follow recipes) tendencies, and consequently the likelihood of being included in the Nice list this Christmas.

Results: The majority of doctors in only 19% of specialties made the Nice list. When aggregated, 92% of surgical specialties reported that they either never followed recipes or did so only occasionally. Similarly, 80% of physician specialties reported being Naughty. In contrast, 50% each of those in critical care specialties were Naughty or Nice. General practitioners comprised the largest single group of respondents, and only 8% identified as Nice.

Conclusions: An overwhelming majority of medical parents were Naughty. As Santa makes his list and checks it twice, he will find out who is Naughty or Nice, and he may be surprised at the number of doctors who are on the wrong side of the inventory. When Santa Claus comes to town, he should be circumspect when indulging in any baked offerings by the Christmas tree, particularly those offered by surgeons and general practitioners.

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  • Shian Miller1
  • Tamara C Johnson2

  • 1 Greenslopes Private Hospital, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2 Western Sydney University School of Medicine, Sydney, NSW


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Hojat M, Zuckerman M. Personality and specialty interest in medical students. Med Teach 2008; 30: 400-406.
  • 2. Patterson D. Do recipes make you a better cook? [webpage]. Food & Wine, 30 June 2006. (accessed Sept 2017).
  • 3. Kotsis V, Chung KC. Application of See One, Do One, Teach One concept in surgical training. Plast Reconstr Surg 2013; 131: 1194-1201.


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