Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 277–280 | Cite as

Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Psychiatric Chief Resident

Original Article



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.


Residency Program Academic Psychiatry Psychiatry Residency Chief Resident Meaningful Contribution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Grant I, Dorus W, McGlashan T, et al: The chief resident in psychiatry. Arch Gen Psych 1974; 30: 503–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lowy F, Thornton J: To be or not to be a psychiatric chief resident. Can J Psychiatry 1980; 25: 121–127PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sherman RW: The psychiatric chief resident. J Med Educ 1972; 47: 277–280PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ruiz P: Psychiatry: why nobody wants to be chief resident. Res Staff Phys 1977; 23: 57–61Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Colenda CC: The psychiatry chief resident as information manager. J Med Educ 1986; 61: 666–673PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wilder J, Plutchik R, Conte H: The role of the chief resident: expectations and reality. Am J Psychiatry 1976; 133: 328–331PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Green SA: The chief resident as reluctant staff therapist. Am J Psychiatry 1975; 132: 1078–1081PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Looney JG, Engelberg SJ, Gode RO, et al: The psychiatric chief residency: a preliminary training experience in administrative process. Am J Psychiatry 1975; 132: 729–733PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Collins J: Good to great and the social sectors: a monograph to accompany good to great. New York, HarperCollins, 2005Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ticknor CB, Matthews KL: A model for selecting a psychiatry chief resident. J Med Educ 1988; 63: 333–335PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bemis C, Fehr R: The psychiatric chief residency. Am J Psychiatry 1989; 146: 943–944PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Griffith E, Ruiz P, Feiner J: New concepts for the administrative training of psychiatric chief residents. J Med Educ 1972; 47: 277–280Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Szuba MP, Guze BH, Recheimer SH: The postresidency perspective of the psychiatric chief resident. Acad Psychiatry 1993; 17: 113–115Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Silver MA, Marcos LR: The making of the psychiatrist-executive. Am J Psychiatry 1989; 146: 29–34PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rodenhauser P, Bashook P: On education in administrative psychiatry. Adm Policy Ment Health 1991; 18: 285–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Peteet JR, Gutheil TG: The value of administrative experience for the clinician: opportunities of the chief residency in psychiatry. Psychiatr Q 1981; 53: 155–161PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryTripler Army Medical CenterHonoluluUSA

Personalised recommendations