The article by Kim et al1 in the May issue of the Archives makes a significant contribution to the literature. The observation in this survey, which covered 20 years, that chief residents spent less time teaching and more time administrating despite their desires is important information to those residents who are considering assuming the role of chief resident.
Based on my two decades in academic medicine, my impression has been that one of the major roles of chief residents is to be hotel managers, ie, to assign patients to beds, shift patients to different beds because of infection and other reasons, work out schedules for residents, reassign residents, and change schedules because of illness, pregnancy, and other problems. Although teaching seems to be a priority on paper, in reality, it turns out to be of a lower priority than are service-oriented responsibilities.
An observation that was not addressed in the
Greenberg LW. Experiences and Reflections of Former Pediatric Chief Residents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(1):101. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170130103026