Although all residents seek to acquire competence, those entering psychiatry as a first career appear to use different strategies for the early protection of self esteem than do those entering psychiatry as a second career. These differences and their ramifications for the resident and the residency are discussed.
Differences appear in the formation of a professional identity as a psychiatrist when that career is the second career as opposed to the formation of that identity when the career is the first. For most older psychiatric residents, a first career typically precedes the entrance into psychiatry. In my case, I was a professor of clinical psychology with a part-time private practice which I maintained through medical school. Similarly several other older residents I knew worked in their previous professions such as pharmacy or nursing while in medical school, thereby blocking their total immersion in medicine. However other older residents did not work, but the differences to be discussed nevertheless seem to have occurred. It should be noted that the ordering of these differences are based upon my impressions, experiences, and discussions with other residents.
Kingsbury, M.D., Ph.D., Steven J.
"Identity Formation and Reformation in First and Second Career Psychiatric Residents,"
Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry:
2, Article 11.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/jeffjpsychiatry/vol7/iss2/11