All residents remember their Chiefs. Twenty-five years after graduating, I still remember mine, and their encyclopedic knowledge, high expectations, and loyal support. My Chiefs introduced me to academic medicine, and their influence endures. Nowadays, when I interview Chief candidates, I ask them about the legacy they hope to leave. How do they wish to be remembered?
Each Chief group creates a distinct mission, personality, and spirit. They bind the program to its leadership. This happens most intensely with our Chiefs on Thursday afternoons, when we converge in the Fred Sachs Conference Room for two hours over sandwiches, chips, popcorn, and mediocre cookies. We review the clinical services, address work hour challenges, tweak team structures, and do our best to meet residents' special requests. We deliberate on a handful of struggling trainees, and develop coaching plans and resources to help them succeed. We face hard truths, we're honest with each other, we seek deeper understandings, and we strive to make the residency better.
This academic year began with a tragic loss, but the Chiefs held us together. They adorned exquisite morning reports with impressionist images and quizzed us on current events. They pushed us to reason logically, creatively, and efficiently. They challenged us to write pithy H&Ps, progress notes, and discharge summaries. They organized retreats and fulfilled our commitment to wellness. They proved to us all that kindness is the key to successful learning.
Nan, Sam, Ali, Kevin, and Amir: your devotion to our program knew no bounds. You spread joy wherever you went and your commitment fueled our own. You will leave behind a legacy of clinical excellence, scholarship, and education and, most importantly, you focused our gaze on issues larger and more important than ourselves. We will remember you and your countless contributions for years to come. Thank you always.