Re: Does Star Fleet not run psychiatric examinations on its recruits?
Unfortunately, it probably wasn't realistic at all, just a way for the script of The Deadly Years to dumb down an authority figure while allowing Kirk to show what an awesome Captain he was.
Makes me wonder about someone like Phillipa Louvois from "The Measure of a Man." She held the rank of captain but had no command responsibility aside from her role as a JAG officer. Was her entire career like that, or did she serve in Starfleet in some other way? If she held a law degree, it's possible she could have been a communications officer or ship's historian.
"He clapped his captain—his friend—on the shoulder. Yes, this man was very much like James Kirk, in all the ways that mattered." --Christopher L. Bennett-- Star Trek: Mere Anarachy, The Darkness Drops Again