The Chief Resident’s Role

What we actually do as your chief residents?

We are in a unique position, as we have just finished residency training and are now overlooking the house staff. Our roles are comprised of administrative, clinical and educational components.

Clinical Role: We will be attendings on the wards at both PMH and the VA. This entails the typical duties of any other attendings. Furthermore, we are involved in resolving conflicts between services, ensuring patient safety across all of our services, and fielding patient transfer requests from outside hospitals.

Administrative Role: This a role that you are used to seeing us in as we make your schedules, organize the noon conferences, speakers, intern chart conference, arrange coverage for fellow residents. We work with Dr. Johnson, Dr. Kazi, and the associate program directors on improving the residency and its curriculum as well as trouble-shooting problem areas that you, as residents, bring to our attention. We represent the house staff at many administrative meetings at Parkland, University and VA hospital. We organize the events, transportation, dinner venue for the interview season for upcoming applicants. We run morning report at Parkland and the VA as well as Weissler Conference.

Teaching: In addition to arranging the conferences and working on curriculum, we are most excited about the opportunity to teach directly, at the individual level. This will occur in places like morning/afternoon report, on rounds while on service.

Mentors: This is the role that is often not seen, as it’s typically on an individual level, though it’s a role we are very excited about. Throughout the year, some of you may experience hardships or obstacles, have questions or concerns regarding patient care, or have ideas for systems improvement. As your chief residents, we will work with you to get things back on track, help solve patient care issues, and discuss the systems changes that may help to improve our experience here as housestaff. This usually involves frequent meetings to check how you’re doing, reviewing the care of your patients together, and having you complete short courses of modules.

What are our expectations of you?

We want you to be a more knowledgeable, professional and caring clinician by the end of your second year. It is our hope that you’re not content with “getting by,” but want to improve, learn more, and build on the foundation that has been laid this past intern year.

Thus we expect you to be on time for morning report and conferences, to dress appropriately (shirt, tie and slacks for men, business casual for women), particularly at morning report and on the Ward services. Beyond this, we want you to become excellent educators, making an effort to teach to your medical students and interns whenever possible during rounds and with short dedicated lectures. We hope your interactions with nurses, med techs, pharmacists and other specialty services are respectful.

What are our expectations for ourselves? And we want you to hold us accountable to this.

We want to be the tools and resources that allow you to flourish as an upper level resident in this residency. This is a quote from a paper from Yale about the chief resident’s role regarding the house staff.

“The chief residents are responsible for creating a space, both physical and psychological, where the house staff feels safe to express their neediness, fragility, doubt, fear, and anxiety while receiving encouragement and support.”
We hope to encourage and support you this coming year and will go out of our way to help you become the best resident physician you can be.

Just like you guys have big learning curve becoming upper level residents, we also have a learning curve as chief residents and we will learn together what works and what doesn’t. We look forward to the transition to the new hospitals and rotations and working together to enhance this residency.