Objective: To examine the perceptions of New South Wales (NSW) psychiatric trainees in relation to their training, the adverse events they experienced and the role and quality of the consultant-registrar relationship.
Method: A self-report questionnaire was developed to probe trainee perceptions of the consultant-trainee relationship and adverse events during training in all those who had completed at least 1 year of training in psychiatry (n = 138) in NSW, as well as all consultants who had completed their training in the last 5 years (n = 95). All subjects were asked to rate the frequency and relative impact of 20 adverse experiences with the opportunity to proffer adversities not listed. They were also asked to rate their experience of their consultants in relation to the adversity.
Results: The results from The Training Impact Study exploring adverse events experienced by NSW trainees are presented. Assault by a patient and suicide of a patient are identified as the most stressfull adversities of training in psychiatry. However, more general concerns such as educational and emotional neglect by supervisors, observing consultant maltreatment of patients, exam failure and conflict between consultants were also identified and discussed.
Conclusions: The high response rate of both trainees and consultants gives these results a level of representative validity. Recommendations in relation to future training and research are put forward. Specific training in the management of potentially assaultive patients and facilitating trainee recovery from assault or threat of assault should be a priority of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. Support and education in relation to patient suicide is also important. Training and recognition of teachers within the College should be encouraged.