Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Resident Physicians Related to Their Internship

Klamen, D., L. Grossman & D. Koapcz
Published in Academic Psychiatry 19: 142-149

Peer Reviewed
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Abstract: To evaluate whether stresses experienced by physicians during internship are associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, the authors administered a standardized questionnaire to assess PTSD symptoms, depressive and anxiety symptoms, and social supports to 212 residents. Thirteen percent of residents met diagnostic criteria for PTSD, including 20% of the women and 9% of the men. PTSD symptoms were significantly more frequent in residents who were single or divorced at the time the questionnaire was administered. There were significant positive correlations between PTSD symptoms and symptoms of both current anxiety and depression, and a significant negative correlation existed between social support and PTSD symptoms. PTSD symptoms attributed to stresses associated with internship, which may be deleterious to physician well-being and potentially to patient care, and suggest the importance of making major changes in postgraduate medical training.

Peer ReviewedDavid Kopacz