Psychiatric residents' needs for education about informed consent, principles of ethics and professionalism, and caring for vulnerable populations: Results of a multisite survey

Shaili Jain, Maria Isabel Lapid, Laura B. Dunn, Laura Weiss Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors examined psychiatric residents' perceived needs for education in informed consent, principles of ethics and professionalism, and treating vulnerable populations. Method: A written survey was distributed to psychiatric residents (N=249) at seven U.S. residency programs in 2005. The survey contained 149 questions in 10 content domains, 6 questions regarding personal ethics experiences during training, and 5 demographic questions. Here, the authors report responses to items regarding informed consent, professional principles, and care of vulnerable populations. Results: A total of 151 psychiatric residents responded to the survey (61% overall response rate). On a scale of 1: Much Less, to 5: Same, to 9: Much More Education Desired, psychiatric residents indicated that 9 topics relating to informed consent, 10 issues surrounding professional principles, and 25 topics relating to care of vulnerable populations should receive more educational attention than currently provided. No topics were rated as needing less education. Higher ratings of the need for additional educational attention were associated with more reported ethical conflicts encountered during training. Conclusion: Psychiatric residents at seven diverse U.S. training programs expressed the need for greater educational attention to issues around informed consent, ethical and professional principles, and treating vulnerable populations. These findings reflect the ongoing need for educators to devote curricular attention to these areas so that trainees can incorporate such knowledge effectively into their daily clinical practice in an always-complex, highly fragmented medical care environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Education

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