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A Leadership Acrostic

February 11, 2023

Hi everyone:

Christina Dimopoulos recently taught us about acrostics, so I decided to try one out:

What Do Leaders Do?

Listen carefully

Earn trust

Act wisely

Dream big

Empower others

Raise hope

It’s time to choose our 2024-25 Chief Residents. We need eight—5 Traditional, 1 VA-CRQS, 1 VA-COE, and 1 NHPCC—and if you’re reading this email, you’re eligible to vote.

Please complete this year’s survey, nominating up to five PGY2s for the Traditional Chief position. Remember to include comments, because what you say about the candidates is more important than how many votes they get. We want exceptional clinicians, teachers, and role models. We need Chiefs who are organized, efficient, trustworthy, creative, generous, flexible, inspirational, and honest. We seek Chiefs who are ready to work long hours, respond to crises, and engage in difficult conversations. Chiefs must be committed to our residency’s mission. With the right Chiefs, we can do anything.

All non-short-tracking PGY2s are eligible. If you want to be considered, please nominate yourself. If you think a colleague should not be a Chief, tell us why. Finally, if you’re certain you would not take a position even if offered, let me know by email this week. The survey closes on Sunday, February 18, at 5 P.M.

Here are brief job descriptions for the four positions:

  • Traditional Chiefs: AKA “the Chiefs,” the Traditional Chiefs create schedules for nearly 200 trainees. They are available 24/7 as “Chief on Call” to field emergencies. They develop and tweak rotation structures. They represent the residents at Department and Hospital meetings. They attend biannual Clinical Competency Committee meetings, monthly Firm Chief meetings, and monthly Executive Council meetings. They lead weekly leadership meetings with the PD and APDs. They facilitate Resident Report. They coach interns and prepare them to become seniors. They lead simulation sessions. They aid residents in crisis. They attend on the floors, stepdown unit, and clinic. They call backup when residents are sick or need to leave for family emergencies. They solicit moonlighting for Arts Night, the Winter Ball, and Graduation. They plan and host Block Parties and the Fellowship Match celebration. They work with administrators at YNHH and the VA. They facilitate pre-interview webinars and interview-day Q&A sessions. On Match Day, they welcome the new interns. They serve as trusted advisors and confidants to residents, the APDs, and, especially, me. And that’s not all: you never know when a pandemic or other emergency will strike, and should that happen, we’ll call on the Chiefs to lead. Finally, the Chiefs set the tone for our residency, uphold our standards, and advocate for resident wellbeing. It’s an honor to be a Chief, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to develop leadership skills and leave your mark by making our residency better than you found it.
  • VA Chief Resident for Quality and Safety (CRQS) (prepared by Dr. Naseema Merchant): The Chief Resident in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) is a unique blend of a chief residency and a fellowship. Sponsored by the VA 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 QIPS, and to improve the care of our veterans. These goals are achieved through a national educational curriculum and local experiential learning through personalized mentorship and participation in various QIPS initiatives. The position responsibilities include leading the residency’s education in QIPS in the classroom and in real time in the clinical learning environment, participating in VA patient safety investigations, root causes analyses and other initiatives, working on a yearlong capstone QIPS project in the area of interest, and participating in various scholarly activities to disseminate their work.
  • The VA COE Chief Resident (prepared by Dr. Rebecca Brienza): The Chief Resident (CR) for the West Haven VA Center of Education (COE) in Interprofessional Primary Care is primarily an outpatient chief resident position. The COE is an interprofessional education program and collaborative care clinic at the West Haven VA. The COE CR acts as the CR for approximately 20 Yale Traditional IM residents and 4 Nurse Practitioner residents in addition to pharmacy, health psychology, social work, chiropractic and physical therapy trainees. In addition, there is an addiction medical education fellow embedded in the program. The COE CR is responsible administratively for the trainees' clinic schedule for the entire year, including urgent visits, continuity clinic, and other elective opportunities. The CR also works closely with the COE Director to develop the ambulatory learning modules and curriculum for each clinic block for the entire year. This responsibility involves developing learning objectives, aligning clinical topic themes, selecting teaching modalities and recruiting speakers. The COE CR has a large role in both development and teaching of the COE curriculum. The philosophy of the program is to encourage and help facilitate the COE CR to develop curricula and teaching based on their own educational interests and passions. In addition, the COE CR maintains a small panel of patients and has 2 half day continuity clinics per week and is responsible for the management of those patients. The COE CR also precepts in the interprofessional co-precepting room approximately 3 half days per week. The remaining 5 half days per week are spent working on curriculum development, administration, scholarly and QI projects. The COE CR is assigned two "2 week" blocks of inpatient ward attending and one "2 week" block of inpatient medicine consults. The COE CR works closely with the Director in the development and presentation of their Medical Grand Rounds. This CR role is ideal for a candidate who has a strong interest in medical education, interprofessional team-based care delivery, and innovative models of teaching and training. The position is open to all Yale Traditional Internal Medicine residents.
  • The NHPCC Chief Resident (prepared by Drs. Paul Bernstein, Amerisa Tarabar, and Benjamin Gallagher): Hard to believe we are recruiting for our 5th NHPCC Chief Resident. Of course this position provides an open space to build your vision, design and curate outpatient educational curricula including our program-wide Ambulatory Educational Half Days. But you will also 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 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 Attending on the wards. The NHPCC Chief Resident shepherds our Residents as they clinically mature and achieve independence. Working at The NHPCC is tough but many of the early kinks have been eliminated and we are now in an exploration and growth phase with research underway and a hypertension clinic slated to start very soon. 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. Morale amongst the Residents has improved with restructuring. With the backing and consistent mentorship of Drs. Tarabar, Gallagher and Bernstein, it is an ideal year for your personal growth and leadership skills no matter what field you eventually pursue. Remember, Residents spend more time on their Ambulatory Blocks than any other rotation in residency. Your impact matters. Please note that we encourage you to apply even if your ambulatory clinic was not at the NHPCC. Come talk with us!

We aim to pick the Chiefs by early March. After the survey ends, we will invite 8-10 candidates to interview for the Traditional role. Candidates will then meet with the Selection Committee, which includes me, the APDs, additional faculty, and the current Chiefs. If you’d like to explore the CRQS, COE, or NHPCC roles, please contact Drs. Merchant, Brienza, or Bernstein. You may apply to multiple positions at once, and don’t worry that showing interest in several positions will undermine your candidacy- we’re just thrilled that you want to serve the program. After interviews are complete, we will extend all offers simultaneously so residents can choose if they’re selected for more than one, and so we can announce all the new Chiefs together.

Thanks to everyone for helping us choose the 2024-2025 LEADERs.

I’ll be spending most of today preparing for Friday’s rank meeting before settling in with my family for The Game (with nachos, chicken wings, and more).


P.S. A great article on leadership: Leadership Essentials for CHEST Medicine Professionals: Models, Attributes, and Styles (not just for pulmonologists).

P.P.S. A podcast interviewing the author, Dr. James Stoller.

P.P.P.S. Tomorrow, all Traditional Residents will be asked to complete the annual ACGME Survey. This survey is extremely important, and I will be sending you an email today, providing background to read before completing the questions.

P.P.P.P. S. Signs of spring from my front lawn!

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on February 12, 2023