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Eisendorfer, A. (1959). The Selection of Candidates Applying for Psychoanalytic Training. Psychoanal Q., 28:374-378.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:374-378

The Selection of Candidates Applying for Psychoanalytic Training

Arnold Eisendorfer, M.D.

These observations are based on ten years of continuous membership in the Committee for Admissions of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.

I have found this work to be most interesting, stimulating, and challenging to one's clinical acumen. At each meeting of the Committee, the written interviews of two or more different interviewers with the candidate are read and followed by intensive discussion.

The membership of this Committee is of utmost importance. It should be selected from senior members of the faculty who are sharp clinicians and who are dedicated psychoanalysts. The Committee should consist of varied types of personalities in order to avoid any stereotypy of approach to the applicants. Each meeting is a clinical conference in advanced psychopathology. The function of the Committee is to select from a wealth of applicants those who are believed to have sufficient psychoanalytic aptitude to merit being given the opportunity to become students. Although I am not entirely clear as to how we have been accomplishing this task, the quality and character of the student body individually and as a whole has improved progressively throughout the years.

I have also been a member of the Students' and the Graduation Committees throughout these years and, from that additional point of vantage, have seen the dramatic change for the better in our students' problems and our problem students. In 1946 the Students' Committee was burdened with a backlog of problem students that today would never have been seriously considered as applicants. It took us years to weed out the unfit. My work on the Students' Committee complemented my work on the Admissions Committee. It was a protracted follow-up that was most rewarding. One applies the lessons learned from failures that are presented to the Students' Committee to the work of selecting applicants in the Admissions Committee; and conversely, the lessons of the Admissions Committee are foreseen as problems which will beset the Students' Committee.

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