- A survey of 3 academic medical institutions in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area shows that many reported at least 1 clinically significant symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- The most common trigger for PTSD was verbal or physical assault by patients, families, or colleagues.
- The highest PTSD rates occurred during postgraduate year 3.
Why this matters
- The study is the first multi-institution look at PTSD rates among internal medicine residents.
- The higher PTSD levels in year 3 are likely explained by increased clinical exposure and workload.
- This cross-sectional survey-based study identified 280 internal medicine residents.
- 194 residents completed the questionnaire and PTSD checklist for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (PCL-5) survey.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- 55.2% residents showed at least 1 clinically significant symptom (PCL-5 symptom score >2) associated with the stressor.
- Verbal/physical assault by patients, families, or colleagues associated with highest relative PTSD symptom trigger rates.
- Highest PTSD rates occurred during postgraduate year 3 (P=.0005).
- Death/harm of/to a colleague, verbal abuse (superior/colleague), and physical assault (patient/family) were least common stressors (events, 10.2%).
- Common stressors included verbal abuse from patients/families (events,13.2%).
- Self-administered PCL-5 questionnaire.
- Small numbers.
Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm