Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 488–493 | Cite as

Perceptions of Residents and Their Training Directors Regarding Wellness Education, Program Support, and Access to Depression Treatment: the DEPRESS-Ohio Study

  • Alan B. LevyEmail author
  • Ramzi W. Nahhas
  • Suzanne Sampang
  • Karen Jacobs
  • Christina Weston
  • Cathleen Cerny-Suelzer
  • Amy Riese
  • Julie Niedermier
  • Mark R. Munetz
  • Janet Shaw
  • Ryan Mast
In Brief Report



This study determines the extent to which residents and their program directors have discordant perceptions regarding wellness, support, and treatment opportunities for trainees. In addition, the authors examined whether psychiatry residents differed in their perceptions compared with residents in other specialties.


Residents and their program directors from each of 10 specialties were electronically surveyed after IRB approval and giving informed consent.


Of 42 program directors responding, over 92% indicated they provided wellness education and programming; however, a significantly lower percentage of 822 trainees were aware of this (81.2% and 74.9%, respectively). A similar disparity existed between program directors (PDs) who knew where to refer depressed residents for help (92.9%) and residents who knew where to seek help (71%). Moreover, 83.3% of program directors believed they could comfortably discuss depression with a depressed resident, but a lower percentage of their trainees (69.1%) felt their training directors would be supportive. A significantly greater percentage of program directors (40.5%) believed seeking treatment for depression might compromise medical licensure than did residents (13.0%). Psychiatry residents were significantly more aware of wellness, support, and access than were residents from other specialties.


The availability of wellness education, programming, program director accessibility, and knowing where to ask for help if depressed does not seem to be adequately communicated to many residents. Moreover, program directors disproportionately see depression treatment as a risk to medical licensure compared with their residents. Psychiatry residents seem to be more aware of program director support and access to care than their colleagues.


Residency Program director Wellness Depression Medical licensure 



The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of the following physicians who participated in the design or implementation of the survey.

Richard Ulrich, Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine, Akron, Ohio

Marijo Tamburrino, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio

Rusheeth Thummalapally, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio

Ronne Proch, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

Erin Dean, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio

Lindsay O’Brien, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio

Melissa Wagner Schuman, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Sophianne Morgan, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Christine Collins from the Case Western Reserve, Cleveland, Ohio

This study was conducted after acquiring IRB approval at all seven academic training institutions. Surveys were completed after each participant acknowledged informed consent.

Funding Information

The funding for the study was provided by the Columbus Medical Association Foundation and the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan B. Levy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ramzi W. Nahhas
    • 2
  • Suzanne Sampang
    • 3
  • Karen Jacobs
    • 4
  • Christina Weston
    • 2
  • Cathleen Cerny-Suelzer
    • 5
  • Amy Riese
    • 6
  • Julie Niedermier
    • 1
  • Mark R. Munetz
    • 7
  • Janet Shaw
    • 8
  • Ryan Mast
    • 2
  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Wright State UniversityDaytonUSA
  3. 3.University of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  5. 5.Case Western ReserveClevelandUSA
  6. 6.University of ToledoToledoUSA
  7. 7.Northeast Ohio Medical University College of MedicineAkronUSA
  8. 8.Ohio Psychiatric Physicians AssociationColumbusUSA

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