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Choose the Chiefs

January 23, 2021

Hi everyone,

Per our tradition, it’s time to choose Chief Residents, this time for the 2022-23 academic year. We need 5 Traditional Chiefs as well as Chiefs for the VA Center of Excellence (COE), VA Quality and Safety (CRQS), and the New Haven Primary Care Consortium (NHPCC).

The Chiefs are the heart and soul of our program. They create schedules, teach, recruit, and attend on the floors, stepdown unit, and clinic. They find coverage when residents fall ill or face emergencies. They are clinical and pedagogic role models. They coach, they serve as trusted confidants, and they lift our spirits during hard times.

The ideal Chief is smart, innovative, flexible, resilient, detail-oriented, emotionally intelligent, courageous, diplomatic, collaborative, optimistic, and altruistic. They listen carefully and can be trusted with sensitive, confidential information. They advocate for residents and patients. Above all, the ideal Chief must love the program, treat the residents like sisters and brothers, and be ready to work hard.

To choose the Traditional Chiefs, we will start with a survey. Please select up to five candidates from our PGY2 class and tell us why your candidate should lead us, considering the traits and behaviors outlined above:

All PGY2s are eligible to be Chief unless they are short tracking or already have plans for 2022-23. The list has 35 names; if you’re on the list and don’t want to be considered, please tell me. Additionally, if you think someone should not be a Chief, please let me know- I will hold your concerns in confidence. Finally, while it’s okay to nominate yourself, we will pay most attention to input from peers and faculty.

The survey closes on January 31 at 5PM. After that, we will select a slate of candidates to interview. Beyond individual talents, we want a team that is diverse in background, gender, skills, and interests. We will target an announcement by late February or early March.

As always, we will use a separate process to choose the COE, CRQS, and NHPCC Chiefs. If you’re interested in the COE position, contact Dr. Brienza ( For the CRQS, contact Dr. Merchant ( For the NHPCC, contact Dr. Bernstein ( You are welcome to pursue more than one position.

Choosing the right Chiefs is an essential task for our program and we need your help so we can build another exceptional team.

Take care, everyone, and have a restful Sunday. For now, I’m lounging on the couch, nursing some minor aches and fatigue after yesterday’s vaccine #2.



For further reading, particularly this morning as we reflect upon talent, dignity, and courage:

A Final Interview With Hank Aaron: ‘I Recognized That I Had a Gift’

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on January 24, 2021