A multi-aspects classification model (MACM) has been developed and presented in detail elsewhere. However, it is not clear which symptoms are best used to characterize the patient. The present investigation tried to answer four questions. Are the most severe symptoms most frequently used to characterize the patient? Are there severe symptoms which are not used? Are mild symptoms frequently used to characterize the patient? Are syndromatic stereotypes frequently used to characterize the patient? 50 consecutive admissions (15 males) with depression were rated on the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale and these ratings were compared with the symptoms used by the senior ward psychiatrists to characterize the patient. No indication was found that doctors use only the most severe symptoms; nor did they seem to use only diagnostic stereotypes based on theory.