Chief Resident as Manager and Leader
Rob Melendez, MD, MBA
Managers are about Controlling and Problem Solving
Leaders are Motivating and Inspiring
What are the differences between a Manager and a Leader? The goal of this article is to identify when we are displaying each trait and how we can become better leaders and managers. Mangers tend to run the day-to-day activities and Leaders tend to run the year to year activities. As a chief resident, your main role is as a manager with opportunities to display leadership. Managers tend to be controlling and problem solvers whereas Leaders tend to be more motivating and inspiring. Below are some examples of each.
Chief Resident as Manager-Controlling and Problem Solving
-Identify the weak areas of performance on the OKAP exam and create study strategies to improve. Create study sessions for future residents and a study plan for the year.
-Look for ways to problem solve whether it is fixing the call schedule to arranging the Grand Rounds presentations.
-Try to involve the residents in solving the solution. This is actually displaying leadership too. This will empower the residents and hopefully prepare one of them for the chief resident position.
Chief Resident as Leader-Motivating and Inspiring
-Encourage residents to remain positive even though some of them may not have scored as well as others on the OKAP exam.
-By sharing your score, this could motivate others to do better next year or inspire them how brilliant they are because they did better than you. A leader tries to be transparent and creates the opportunity for others to learn from them.
-Offer incentives for doing well on the OKAP exam. This act will motivate the residents.
Encouraging your residents to study extra hard for the OKAP exam and making it one of the highest priorities only makes it easier for them when it is time to take the written and oral board examination.
-One way to inspire your residents is when you are on back-up call. Plan to go in and help with a couple of patients while your lower level resident is on-call. Offer to buy them coffee or a drink. Try to do this unexpectedly and with every resident. They will appreciate your kindness. Take this opportunity to teach a pearl or two.