, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 277-280
Date: 10 Jan 2014

Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Psychiatric Chief Resident

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Despite its importance in psychiatry residency training, there is little written about the role of chief resident. Invoking principles of credibility, continuity, and inclusion, and the establishment of two roles as legislative and representative leader this article offers a model for how a residency program can empower its chief resident to act decisively, make meaningful contributions to training and ultimately enhance his or her effectiveness.


The authors review the literature on the psychiatry chief resident and identify ambiguity as a common and powerful impediment to effective leadership.


The authors present a model for psychiatry residency programs to enhance chief resident effectiveness based on the three components of credibility, continuity, and inclusion, and elucidate how each improves chief resident leadership. The authors identify two integral leadership roles of the chief resident, those of the legislative and representative leader and discuss how each empowers the chief resident to act decisively.


The authors assert that if psychiatry residency programs elect the chief resident by involving both faculty and residents, grant a year-long term and include him or her in all major decisions that involve the residency, the chief resident is far more likely to make meaningful contributions to the training program.

The views stated in this paper are those of the authors and do not reflect the policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.