Do program directors and their chief residents view the role of chief resident similarly?

Tom Norris, Jeff Susman, Carol Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: The chief resident plays an important role in family practice residencies and is positioned at the nexus of the relationship between the faculty and the residents. It is unknown if program directors and their respective chief residents view this position and the role of training and faculty development similarly. Methods: Parallel surveys were sent to all family practice residency program directors and their respective chief residents to explore their perceptions of the importance of the tasks and roles of the chief resident and the effects that perceived training, feedback, and support have on the chief resident's satisfaction. Results: Fifty-one percent of chief residents and their program directors returned surveys that could be analyzed in parallel. Program directors placed relatively greater importance on the administrative role of chiefs. Mentioned most frequently as problems were balancing administrative duties with other tasks, dealing with personnel issues, and working with the lack of a clear job description. Chiefs who participated in formal training programs and who perceived better burnout prevention were more satisfied with their position. Conclusions: A large number of chief residents perceived gaps in the preparation for their position, particularly with regard to administrative skills. These deficiencies are particularly ironic in light of program directors' perceptions that administrative duties are of the highest importance among the tasks assigned to chief residents. Faculty development strategies and a program of burnout prevention for chief residents should be incorporated into each residency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-345
Number of pages3
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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