February 1960

The Psychiatric Resident and the Family of the Hospitalized Patient

Author Affiliations

Syracuse, N.Y.
From the Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York Upstate Medical Center.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(2):125-130. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590080001001

The resident in psychiatry who acquires his initial experience in a diagnostic and acute treatment hospital often has problems in coping with patients’ families. These problems become a source of concern to the administrators, the supervisors of the resident, the patient, his family, and the resident himself. In some instances the resident’s interest in people, no matter how deep and sincere, seems to exclude relatives. In a remarkably unperceptive way, occasionally he treats them with the callousness he condemns in the attitudes of other specialists toward their patients. He may be curt, convey a note of annoyance, or even openly express an unwillingness to have anything to do with them. To be sure, the issue is sometimes circumvented by relegating the care of the family to a social case worker or to an administrative officer commissioned to deal with them. As Stanton and Schwartz1 commented: “In some

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