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Leadership & Professional Development: Chief residency—A team sport

Written by: Colin Washington, Bruno Álvarez Concejo
Published on: Apr 21, 2023

Chief resident helping othersPhoto credit: Flamingo Images/Adobe Stock

While serving as chief residents during the pandemic was no ordinary experience, the tools we leaned on are universal. In fact, despite differences between individual programs, chief resident positions share common attributes and responsibilities, including being teams of two or more. As such, we believe optimizing teamwork is key for a successful year, and here we discuss three key factors that we hope prove useful for anyone stepping into this role.


It is essential to communicate and operate as a unified front. Each decision made by the team should be presented not from an individual perspective but from the chief resident group as a whole. There will always be internal deliberation, and a lively discussion of ideas is necessary to find the best solution to each problem. Nonetheless, once the group reaches a conclusion, the decision and reasoning behind it should be presented with a shared and cohesive voice.

Initially, this may mean multiple revisions of emails or practicing crucial conversation points within the team. This can help to set a unified voice and build confidence as each member of the team learns to speak for the group as a whole.

Read the full report.