Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 222–227 | Cite as

Practical Interventions to Enhance Resident Ownership of Patient Care

  • Thomas Soeprono
  • Jesse Markman
  • Michael Grodesky
  • Deborah Cowley
In Brief Report



In the modern training environment, some question whether trainees have the opportunity to develop ownership of patient care, which includes concepts such as advocacy, autonomy, commitment, communication, follow-through, knowledge about the patient, responsibility, and teamwork. Despite descriptions of what ownership is, there is little discussion of how to foster ownership during residency. The objective of this study was to solicit psychiatry resident and faculty perspectives on ways to enhance resident ownership in training.


Twenty-nine of 74 (39.2%) residents and 31 of 68 (45.6%) faculty members surveyed provided narrative responses to a voluntary, anonymous, electronic survey asking two structured, open-ended questions about what factors make it more or less likely that a resident will take “ownership” of patient care.


The coding process produced four overarching categories of themes (attending, resident, educational program, and environment) that reflect domains for possible interventions to increase ownership, with conceptual guidance from the Theory of Planned Behavior. From these factors, the authors propose a number of practical yet theory-based interventions which include setting expectations, modeling, promoting autonomy, countertransference supervision, changing residency culture, and longer rotations.


These interventions address subjective norms, attitudes, perceived ability and control, environment, and actual resident abilities, all of which, according to the Theory of Planned Behavior, would be likely to influence patient care ownership. Future studies could develop curricula and examine the effectiveness of the interventions proposed here in reinforcing or developing ownership in physicians.


Ownership Resident education Professionalism Theory of planned behavior 



This study was granted exempt status by the University of Washington Human Subjects Division (5/10/2012; HSD study #42964).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The study protocol was reviewed by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Washington and was determined to have exempt status.


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


There are no funding sources that supported this research.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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