ANY.NY STUDY of how persons become socialized into a specialty of medicine should take into account what the trainees bring with them into the training situation. Numerous studies have focused upon the psychological characteristics of individuals who have elected to enter psychiatry.1 There have been studies of the therapeutic ideologies of psychiatrists.2 There have also been attempts to link personality characteristics and the espousal of particular psychiatric ideologies.3 There has been less concern with the sociocultural characteristics of persons entering psychiatry. Specifically, to our knowledge no investigators have posed the question of what conceptions of psychiatry and expectations concerning psychiatry are characteristic of entering psychiatric residents.
This question came forcefully to our attention in the course of a longitudinal study of professional socialization in four different training programs: one training program in internal medicine, one PhD program in biochemistry, and two training programs in psychiatry. (By professional
Bucher R, Stelling J, Dommermuth P. Implications of Prior Socialization for Residency Programs in Psychiatry. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(4):395–402. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740160011002
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