April 1976

The Disturbed and the Disturbing Psychiatric Resident

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis. Dr Morse is now with the Harvard Medical School Institute for Law and Psychiatry, Boston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(4):446-450. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770040024006

• Two hundred psychiatric residents who were in training during a 25-year period were retrospectively studied. We found that residents could be meaningfully divided into the four following categories: (1) neither disturbed nor disturbing; (2) disturbed and disturbing; (3) disturbed but not disturbing; and (4) disturbing but not disturbed.

There is a need for early recognition of disturbed residents in order to guide them into appropriate treatment, supervision, and career choice. Some very disturbed residents make a satisfactory adjustment to residency and psychiatric practice.

Certain disturbing residents are not at all disturbed but are mislabeled as such by faculty. These residents often make outstanding psychiatrists.

Personal psychotherapy is an important factor in the eventual outcome of the lives and careers of disturbed residents.