Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 299–304 | Cite as

Women in U.S. Psychiatric Training

  • Shaili Jain
  • Bhawani Ballamudi
Special Feature Article Original Article


Objective: The number of women in psychiatric training is predicted to increase over time. This article aims to review and evaluate the existing literature on the topic and identify present areas of concern and recommend future areas for research. Method: A Medline search from 1964 to the present day was conducted. Literature on female physicians in psychiatry, internship and residency, career choices, and medical education was reviewed. Results: Much has changed, for the better, to accommodate the needs of this population. The areas of role integration, career choices, and pregnancy remain issues of concern. These concerns will continue as the percentage of female physicians increases. Conclusions: The multiple issues surrounding the pregnant resident need to be formally addressed and recognized to avoid strain on all residents, patients and departmental systems. Political, social, and departmental issues need to be addressed to help female residents with role integration. Psychiatry should lead the way among medical specialties in advocating for excellent family leave policies and childcare. Academic psychiatry will have to use creative strategies to effectively recruit and maintain female faculty.


Academic Psychiatry Female Physician Psychiatry Resident Female Resident Female Faculty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Benedek EP, Barton G, Bieniek C: Problems for women in psychiatric residency. Am J Psychiatry 1977; 134: 1244–1248PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Titta M, Robinowitz CB, More WW: The future of psychiatry: psychiatrists of the future. Am J Psychiatry 1991; 148: 853–858PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Graduate Medical Education (Appendixes). JAMA 2003; 290: 1234–1238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Weissman SH, Bashook PG: Forty-year trends in selecting a psychiatric career Psychiatr Q 1991; 62: 81–93Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hilberman E, Gispert M, Harper J: Impact of a district branch Taskforce on Women. Am J Psychiatry 1976; 133: 1159–1164PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bieniek C, Barton G, Benedek E: Training female mental health professionals: sexual counter transference issues. J Am Med Womens Assoc 1981; 36: 131–139PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lyacki H, Josef NC, Chapis K: Sex bias in the training of psychiatric residents. J Am Med Womens Assoc 1983; 38: 105–107Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kessler MD, Hellekson-Emery C, Wilder JF: The psychiatric chief resident: does gender make a difference? Am J Psychiatry 1982; 139: 1610–1613PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Phelan ST: Pregnancy during residency: the decision “to be or not to be” Graduate Education 1988; 72: 425–431Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tinsley JA: Pregnancy of the early career psychiatrist. Psychiatr Serv 2000; 51: 105–110PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rodgers C, Kunkel ES, Field HL: Impact of pregnancy during training on a psychiatry resident cohort. J Am Med Womens Assoc 1994; 49: 49–52PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stewart DE, Robinson GE: Combining motherhood with psychiatric training and practice. Can J Psychiatry 1985; 30: 28–34PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Forman PD: Parental leave and medical careers. J Am Med Womens Assoc 1992; 47: 267Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Young SL, Kramer T, Beresin E: Pregnancy during graduate medical training. Acad Med 1993; 68: 792–799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Weinstein MR: Psychiatric manpower and women in psychiatry. Am J Psychiatry 1967; 145: 364–370Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Branch CHH: Psychiatric training and the general practitioner. Am J Psychiatry 1965; 122: 485–489PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kaplan HI, Kaplan HS, Freedman AM: Training in psychiatry for physician mothers. JAMA 1964; 189: 11–14PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Scher M, Benedek E, Candy A, et al: Psychiatrist-wife-mother: some aspects of role integration. Am J Psychiatry 1976: 133: 830–834PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Potter RL: Resident, woman, wife, mother: issues for women in training. J Am Med Womens Assoc 1983; 38: 98–102PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Roeske NA: Women in psychiatry: past and present areas of concern. Am J Psychiatry 1973; 130: 1127–1131PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kashtan J, Dickey B: Career patterns of female and male graduates of a psychiatry residency program. Am J Psychiatry 1984;: 141: 1248–1250PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hilberman E, Gispert M, Harper J: Impact of a District Branch Taskforce on Women. Am J Psychiatry 1976; 133: 1159–1164PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Benedek E, Pozanski E: Career choices for the woman psychiatric resident. Am J Psychiatry 1980; 137: 301–305PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Penfold SP: Women in academic psychiatry in Canada. Can J Psychiatry 1987; 32: 660–665PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Reiser LW, Sledge WH, Fenton W, et al: Beginning careers in academic psychiatry for women: Bermuda triangle? Am J Psychiatry 1993; 150: 1392–1397PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Benedek E: A new beginning II (editorial). Am J Psychiatry 1993:150Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Bickel J, Wara D, Lawson RM: Women in U.S. Academic Medicine Statistics 2001–2 (last accesses 11/30/04)
  28. 28.
    Frank E, Boswell L, Dickstein LJ, et al: Characteristics of female psychiatrists. Am J Psychiatry 2001; 158: 205–212PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Abrams MT, Patchan KM, Boat TF: Research training, in Psychiatry Residency Training, Strategies for Reform. Washington, DC, National Academies Press, 2000, pp 156Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Andrews NC: The other physician-scientist problem: where have all the young girls gone? Nat Med 2002; 8: 439–441PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaili Jain
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bhawani Ballamudi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity Of WisconsinMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations