Depression and anxiety in medical, surgical, and pediatric interns

Psychol Rep. 1993 Jun;72(3 Pt 2):1145-6. doi: 10.2466/pr0.1993.72.3c.1145.


The adaptive demands of a physicians' residency program include relocation to another area, mastery of a new organizational system, and a new level of role responsibility, in addition to education and patient care activities. This study examined the prevalence of significant psychiatric symptoms in medical, surgical, and pediatric interns for three four-month intervals. Following a cohort of 39 residents over the course of their first year, using the SCL-90--R, there was an elevated prevalence (M = 35%) of significant anxiety and depression throughout the year. Given the consistent high anxiety and depression, more research needs to be undertaken to understand the interaction of initial and ongoing adaptive demands.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Students, Medical / psychology*