Top: Derick Jenkins and Leah Couture
Bottom: (From left to right) Nathaniel Warner, Jason Cook, and Patrick Fadden
The role of Chief Medical Resident in the Internal Medicine training program at VCU provides a crucial link between the trainees and leadership at the program, department, and institution. As chief residents are highly valued members of the leadership team, they are carefully selected and receive dedicated training to further develop teaching, leadership, and administrative skills. Chief residents are known by peers and faculty not only for being exceptional teachers and leaders, but for their ubiquitous intellectual curiosity and having contagious joy for medicine!
The five chief residents at VCU have specialized roles, but these roles are interwoven and interchangeable to provide a unified foundation of support to residents, faculty, and leadership across the program. As a team, the chief residents provide a constant physical presence by the leadership among trainees on a daily basis and promote enthusiasm and excitement for clinical and academic responsibilities.
The chief residents serve as innovators within the program, and have been responsible for supporting hospital throughput to support the integration of unit-based care, incorporating active learning into core conference lectures, developing programs for physician wellbeing and resilience, revitalizing the quality and safety curriculum, and augmenting teaching and clinical experiences in the ambulatory setting. They are heavily involved in recruitment of new trainees, speak at Grand Rounds each spring, and organize a holiday fundraiser during which they spread cheer across the hospital in costume!
Chief residents are chosen during the PGY-2 or PGY-3 years. They undergo a formal four-week training program during their final postgraduate year prior to serving as chief residents with a faculty appointment after graduating. Following chief year, they frequently remain on faculty at VCU or successfully pursue fellowships, both at VCU and other institutions. Throughout their careers, chief residents are known to serve in leadership and educational positions within the health system and university.