To measure depressive symptoms in medical house officers, a self-report questionnaire was administered to 68 medical house officers each month for an academic year. Of 844 possible responses, 737 forms were completed (87.3%). Although the overall prevalence of depressive symptoms (21.4%) approximated that of the general population, subpopulations of residents with high prevalence rates of depressive symptoms could be identified. A 28.7% prevalence rate of depressive symptoms was noted for postgraduate year 1 (PGY-1) residents. Prevalence rates fell with each successive year of training. Depressive symptoms occurred in 34.8% of PGY-1 residents on ward rotations. Similarly, responses from PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents on intensive care rotations indicated prevalence rates of depressive symptoms for both groups of greater than 33%. The impact of these symptoms on resident function and patient care has yet to be determined.