Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 270–276

Current Perspectives on Chief Residents in Psychiatry


    • Third Infantry Division
    • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineMedical College of Wisconsin
  • James Rachal
    • Department of PsychiatryEhrling Berquist Air Force Hospital
  • Jill Breitbach
    • Department of PsychologyWomack Army Medical Center
  • Michael Higgins
    • 436th Medical Group
  • Carolynn Warner
    • Department of Family PracticeWinn Army Community Hospital
  • William Bobo
    • Department of PsychiatryUniformed Services University
Original Article

DOI: 10.1176/appi.ap.31.4.270

Cite this article as:
Warner, C.H., Rachal, J., Breitbach, J. et al. Acad Psychiatry (2007) 31: 270. doi:10.1176/appi.ap.31.4.270



The authors examine qualitative data from outgoing chief residents in psychiatry from the 2004–2005 academic year to 1) determine common characteristics between programs, 2) examine the residents’ perspectives on their experiences, and 3) determine their common leadership qualities.


The authors sent out self-report surveys via e-mail to 89 outgoing chief residents who attended the APA/Lilly Chief Resident Executive Leadership Program.


Fifty-three (60%) chief residents responded. Although most chief residents are senior residents, over 20% are in their third postgraduate year. Two-thirds of programs have more than one chief resident each year. Most chief residents believe that their “participating” leadership style, existing leadership skills, and interpersonal skills contributed to their overall positive experiences.


Successfully performing duties as a chief resident entails functioning in a variety of roles and demands attention to leadership qualities of the individual. Developing existing leadership skills, clarifying expectations, and providing mentorship to chief residents will ensure successful transition into practice and the advancement of the field of psychiatry.

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2007