Working With the Resident in Difficulty

Johanna Shapiro, PhD

The resident in difficulty is an omnipresent and seemingly intractable problem. Some definitions of this concept are explored, as are means and methods of problem identification. Principles of successful intervention are discussed, as well as some obstacles to successful intervention. Utilization of interpersonal process – recall, behavioral techniques, and a more insight-oriented approach in the remediation process are emphasized. The role of the faculty in responding to the resident in difficulty is explored, with special consideration to pitfalls and possibilities. The article concludes with a series of questions and directions for future exploration.

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