Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 263–270 | Cite as

Training Psychiatry Residents in Professionalism in the Digital World

  • Nadyah Janine John
  • P.G. Shelton
  • Michael C. Lang
  • Jennifer Ingersoll
Review Article


Professionalism is an abstract concept which makes it difficult to define, assess and teach. An additional layer of complexity is added when discussing professionalism in the context of digital technology, the internet and social media – the digital world. Current physicians-in-training (residents and fellows) are digital natives having been raised in a digital, media saturated world. Consequently, their use of digital technology and social media has been unconstrained – a reflection of it being integral to their social construct and identity. Cultivating the professional identity and therefore professionalism is the charge of residency training programs. Residents have shown negative and hostile attitudes to formalized professionalism curricula in training. Approaches to these curricula need to consider the learning style of Millennials and incorporate more active learning techniques that utilize technology. Reviewing landmark position papers, guidelines and scholarly work can therefore be augmented with use of vignettes and technology that are available to residency training programs for use with their Millennial learners.


Professionalism Internet Social media Digital world Resident Psychiatrist 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


There was no funding for this study.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

This review article did not require any formal consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadyah Janine John
    • 1
  • P.G. Shelton
    • 1
  • Michael C. Lang
    • 1
  • Jennifer Ingersoll
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineBrody School of Medicine, East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  2. 2.Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University/Vidant Behavioral HealthGreenvilleUSA

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