The Chief Resident in Psychiatry: Roles and Responsibilities

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Psychiatric residency programs have had chief residents for many years, and several articles previously published describe the chief residents' unique role as both faculty and resident. This article describes chief resident roles and responsibilities and explores trends in academic psychiatry departments from 1995 to 2006.


The authors mailed a survey about the roles and responsibilities of chief resident positions to psychiatric residency training directors using the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training (AADPRT) mailing list in 1995 and e-mailed the AADPRT e-mail list in 2006. Data were collected by mail in 1995 and collected in 2006 by a web-based survey similar to the instrument used in 1995.


Joint selection of chief resident by faculty and residents, 12-month terms, protected time for administrative duties, and written job descriptions were helpful features common to most programs.


Our results demonstrate that the majority of general psychiatry residency programs use the joint selection method with a negotiated job description, as well as a 12-month term.

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