A resident in psychiatry is customarily assigned to inpatient duty for the first year of training. The resident\u27s tasks in this setting are complex, and he\u27 is rarely prepared to perform all of them well (1,2,3). The stress on the resident in this situation is great. Most often, these challenges and their mastery are discussed in terms of intrapsychic conflicts; the traditional remedy is the assignment of a supervisor. Little consideration has be en given to the interpersonal and systems matrices in which these events occur, and the coping techniques and conceptual tools which the resident may use to meet these challenges. The resident may use knowledge of inpatient unit dynamics to develop strategies for accomplishing his tasks more effectively. Through these techniques, the resident can provide better patient care, further his professional growth, and reduce personal stress. Educators and administrators may assist the resident by developing a clear conception of the resident role, acknowledging the multiplicity of the tasks, and supporting the mastery of each task educationally and emotionally
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