Psychiatry induces identity crises in its residents by presenting conditions of overchoice, parochialism, and an assortment by mystification techniques. Some degree of identity crisis is inevitable and, indeed, beneficial in the professional identity formation of the resident. Factors that add unnecessarily to identity problems can be identified and minimized.
The most reasonable, and at the same time most difficult posture for a contemporary psychiatric resident in the face of the onslaught of conflicting views is that of pragmatic skepticism. Residents can play an important role in fostering training atmospheres where intellectual honesty and flexibility in conceptual approach are important values, and where residents will obtain exposure to the roles and facility with the skills they will subsequently require.