The Medical School Admissions Committee

A Preventive Psychiatry Challenge
  • Stephen C. Scheiber


Many medical students who sought psychiatric help had personality problems before entering medical school and the major cause of maladaptation was “the personality they brought with them,” according to Hunter et al.1 The study of psychiatric illness in medical students by Pitts et al. demonstrated a high correlation with family histories positive for psychiatric illness.2 Modlin and Montes, in their study of physician addicts, and Vaillant et al., in their work on psychological vulnerabilities, point to early childhood factors that influence the need for psychiatric care.3,4 Blachly et al. describe the physician at risk for suicide as “competitive, compulsive, individualistic, ambitious, a graduate of a high prestige school, one who had mood swings, had problems with drugs, or alcohol, a non-lethal annoying physical illness, and one who may feel a lack of restraint by society.”5 These risk factors are discussed in Chapter 1, Emotional Problems of Physicians: Nature and Extent of Problems.


Medical Student Admission Process Aptitude Test Psychological Vulnerability Medical School Admission 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Hunter RCA, Lorenz JG, Schwartzman AE: Nosophobia and hypochondriasis in medical students. J Nerv Ment Disorder 139:147–152, 1964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pitts FN Jr, Winokur G, Steward MA: Psychiatric syndromes, anxiety symptoms and response to stress in medical students. Am J Psychiat 118:333–340, 1961.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Modlin HC, Montes A: Narcotic addiction in physicians. Am J Psychiat 121:358–366, 1964.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Vaillant GE, Sobowale NC, McArthur C: Some psychological vulnerabilities of physicians. N Engl J Med 287:372–375, 1972.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Blachly PH, Disher W, Roduner G: Suicide by physicians. Bull Suicidology, NIMH, Dec: 1–18, 1968.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Goodwin DW: Familial alcoholism. Paper presented to APA, New Orleans, May, 1981.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goodwin DW: Alcoholism and heredity: A review and hypothesis. Arch Gen Psychiat 36:57–61, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pepitone-Arreola-Rockwell F, Rockwell D, Core N, et al: Fifty-two medical student suicides. Am J Psychiat 138:198–201, 1981.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Epstein L, Thomas CB, Shaffer J, et al: Clinical prediction of physician suicide based on medical student data. J Nerv Ment Disorder 156:19–29, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Paffenbarger R, King S, Wing A: Chronic disease in former college students: LX. Characteristics in youth that predispose to suicide in later life. Am J Public Health 59:900–908, 1969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Paffenbarger R, Asnes D: Chronic diseases in former college students: III. A precursor of suicide in early and middle life. Am J Public Health 56:1026–1036, 1966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Talbott JA, Michels R: The role of psychiatrists in the medical school admissions process. Am J Psychiat 138:221–224, 1981.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Silver LB, Nadelson CC, Joseph EJ, et al: Mental health in medical student applicants: The role of the admissions committee. J Med Educ 54:534–538, 1979.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Shapiro ET, Pinsker H, Shale JH: The mentally ill physician as practitioner. JAMA 232:725–727, 1975.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Waring EM: Psychiatric illness in physicians: A review. Compr Psychiat 15:519–530, 1974.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Garfinkel PE, Waring EM: Personality, interests and emotional disturbances in psychiatric residents. Am J Psychiat 138:51–55, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pescor MJ: Physician drug addicts. Dis Nerv System 3:2–3, 1942.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Steppacher R, Mausner J: Suicide in male and female physicians. JAMA 238:323–328, 1974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Office of the Secretary, Department of Health, Education and Welfare: Rules and regulations on nondiscrimination on basis of handicap. Federal Register, March 4, 1977, pp 22676–22701.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen C. Scheiber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Arizona College of MedicineTucsonUSA

Personalised recommendations