Social psychiatry

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 69–72 | Cite as

Higher incidence of physical and mental ailments in future psychiatrists as compared with future surgeons and internal medical specialists at military conscription

  • Jürg Willi
Other Papers


In Switzerland, all men 20–50 years of age are required to serve in the army. Causes for exemption from military service are grievous and lasting physical or mental ailments. In the present investigation, all Swiss psychiatrists born between 1932 and 1942 (n = 67, 33–43 years of age) were compared with surgeons and internal specialists. The comparison was based on the medical records of the army and on the method of matched pairs. At the age of 19 years, the future psychiatrists were less fit for military service than the future surgeons and internal specialists. This difference became considerably increased by completion of medical specialization. The reduced fitness for military service among psychiatrists was due to a significant concentration of mental and psychosomatic ailments.


Public Health Medical Record Medical Specialist Medical Specialization Significant Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürg Willi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychosocial Medicine and Family TherapyUniversity HospitalZurichSwitzerland

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