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Article
April 21, 1989

On Becoming a Psychiatrist: 1934-1942

Author Affiliations

Dr Romano is distinguished university professor of psychiatry, emeritus, at the University of Rochester (NY).

Dr Romano is distinguished university professor of psychiatry, emeritus, at the University of Rochester (NY).

JAMA. 1989;261(15):2240-2243. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420150090043
Abstract

My interest in psychiatry began when I was a first-year medical student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis, in 1928. The lecturer in anatomy, Walter Zeit, who later became a friend and mentor, drew my attention to the distinction between the functional and the anatomic distribution of pain, anesthesia, and paralysis in the extremities of patients with hysterical disorders, in contrast to those with cerebral vascular lesions and those with peripheral nerve and nervecord injuries. This led me to read several case histories of hysterical patients.

Later, as a clinical student and intern, I had full opportunity to become acquainted with acutely and chronically ill psychiatric patients as I became responsible for their care on admission to the emergency and detention floors of a large county hospital. I also became familiar with the gamut of traditional neurotic symptomatology seen in patients throughout the hospital and in the outpatient clinics.

In

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