Skip to Main Content

Choosing the Chiefs

January 29, 2022
by Mark David Siegel

Hi everyone,

Good morning! It’s time to choose our Chief Residents for the 2023-24 academic year, and we need your help!

It’s an honor to become a Chief, but more importantly, it’s a huge responsibility and a unique opportunity to grow as a clinician, scholar, teacher, and leader.

We need 8 Chiefs: 5 Traditional, 1 CRQS, 1 COE, and 1 NHPCC. Your input is key. Who do you consider models of clinical excellence, emotional intelligence, and kindness? Who are the great teachers? Who would you trust as advocates and confidants? Who would support our social justice and DEI missions? Who would you turn to in a crisis?

Everyone on this email is invited to complete this survey, nominating up to 5 Traditional Chiefs:


Please justify your nominations. What makes the nominee stand out? What contributions would they make? Personal anecdotes and observations are welcome.

The slate of candidates includes all current PGY2s, except those who are short tracking and those who have asked to bow out. The survey will stay open until Sunday, February 6. After that, we’ll create a short list of candidates to interview.

We also invite all PGY2s to interview for the CRQS, COE, and NHPCC Chief positions. If you’re interested, please contact Drs. Merchant, Brienza, or Bernstein, respectively. You can interview for multiple roles, including the Traditional position, at the same time.

Please see below for job descriptions, submitted by the Traditional Chiefs and CRQS, COE, and NHPCC leadership. Please let me know if you have questions or thoughts to share.

Thanks for your help, everyone. Now I’m going out for a hike in the snow!


Traditional Chiefs:

Here is a brief summary of the lesser discussed aspects of chiefing:

  • The number of hours is the same as residency, but there’s more flexibility.
  • There’s a lot of meetings because Chief opinions are valued. We’re the voice for the residents outside of the residency, and are also representatives for the leadership when meeting with residents.
    • We meet regularly with Dr. Siegel and the APDs, firm chiefs and department leadership at YSC and the VA, as well as leadership in other departments.
    • During COVID surges, we’re tasked with understanding Infection Prevention policies, addressing issues on the inpatient floors, redesigning firm structures, making contingency plans, and organizing PPE distribution.
    • We’re always working with firm chiefs to see how floors can be improved, and how floor structures can be redesigned.
  • There’s a lot of administrative work.
    • We receive several hundred emails per week.
    • We provide administrative support for ~170 residents. Dave Donle has joined the team and helps with some of this!
    • Scheduling doesn’t end after they’re sent out in June, and Amion is a pain.
      • This includes fielding frequent swap requests and scheduling events such as central line training, ITE exams, holiday coverage, professionalism workshops, etc.
  • Attending is one of the best parts of Chief year.
    • We attend in urgent visits at the VA for four half days per week every week of the year and during red block at the NHPCC
    • We each attend inpatient for 10 weeks per year (two of which are in the SDU).
  • Recruitment is a surprisingly large part of the job, as we help with the pre-interview dinners, interview applicants, and conduct a weekly q&a session with applicants.
  • Responding to issues as they arise:
    • A big part of the job is responding to issues as they come up in residency, from interpersonal conflicts on the wards to addressing RL solutions. We are “first responders” for any crisis in the program, and will often need to drop everything to respond.

This is a lot, BUT this year will afford you incredible opportunities:

  • You will develop phenomenal leadership skills.
  • Faculty members become colleagues and mentors.
  • Residents will trust you in their hardest times, and it’s a privilege to be there for them.
  • You’ll get a ton of coaching on how to be a clinician educator.
  • Your voice matters, and you have the power to impact institutional change.

Please feel free to reach out to any of us if you want to discuss more!

The Traditional IM Chiefs

VA Chief Resident for Quality and Safety (CRQS):

The Chief Resident in Quality Improvement (QI) and Patient Safety (PS) is a unique blend of a chief residency and a fellowship. Sponsored by the National Center for Patient Safety, the overarching goal of the program is to train future leaders in process improvement, to enrich residency education and mentorship in QI/PS, and to improve the care of our veterans. These aims are achieved through both a national educational curriculum and personalized mentorship. The positions responsibilities include leading the residency’s QI/PS curriculum, participating in VA patient safety investigations and initiatives, working on QI/PS projects in their area of interest, and participating in various scholarly activities to disseminate their work.

VA Center of Excellence (COE):

The COE chief resident works in an inter-professional primary care clinic in the VA. If you are interested in primary care, medical education, or general internal medicine, this is a great position for you! A significant portion of the role is clinical, which includes time seeing your own patients, mentored precepting our MD and NP residents in clinic, attending one month on the wards and one month of medicine consults. In addition, the COE chief resident oversees and develops (mentored by COE leadership) the ambulatory curriculum for the COE residents. There is a lot of flexibility and opportunity to develop new curriculum as well as curricular/educational assessment and scholarship. Finally, the COE chief resident is closely involved in day-to-day clinic operations including creating and supervision of clinic schedules for the residents, as well as participation in COE leadership meetings. The COE resident is closely mentored by the COE Director, including weekly meetings focused on the COE curriculum, resident issues, schedule issues, scholarship and professional development and grand rounds presentation. The COE CR participates in the Stanford teaching program led by Dr. Dunne and also attends the annual APDIM meeting. You do not need to be a COE clinic resident to apply.

New Haven Primary Care Consortium (NHPCC):

The NHPCC Chief Residency is only in its second year. This position provides an open space to build your vision, design and curate outpatient educational curricula including our program-wide Ambulatory Educational Half Days. You will be at the heart of our program’s biggest ambulatory site and learn the inner workings of one of the largest primary care clinics in Connecticut. A resident advocate always, the NHPCC Chief Resident is in the thick of all the action, the “continuity of care” for the residents, working closely with them as attending preceptor in clinic and on the wards. By the time you start, the canvas to paint on will be entirely yours: progressive ideas and brainstorming are the mantra of the NHPCC Chief Residency – be it in education, clinical work, or operations – we trust you to choose your own focus. With the backing and consistent mentorship of both Drs. Tarabar and Bernstein for hands-on clinic matters and educational ideas, this role is designed to provide immense flexibility and protection to help your fresh ideas for ambulatory education come to fruition.

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on January 30, 2022