As a program, we work to develop each of our young surgeons to be leaders in their fields. To encourage this, residents are expected to participate in leadership activities on a continual basis. Surgery residents are intimately involved in multiple leadership roles as representatives at the department, university, and national level.
In the clinical setting, residents are given leadership experience early in their training. The R3 resident rotating on the Burns service at Harborview Medical Center serves as the chief resident leading a team of 4-5 interns. As an R4, residents serve as the chief resident on multiple services ensuring that by the time they enter their Chief year they are well versed in interpersonal skills, administrative and organizational activities, and team management.
On a programmatic level, residents have ample opportunities to have a voice in the program. Meetings with the Chairman occur weekly at the Friday Chairman’s Conference. The Program Director meets with each class weekly on a rotating basis where residents can bring problems and solutions and actively participate in leading change. Residents also serve as ad hoc members on the department’s Education Workgroup and Annual Program Review Committee where residents have input.
Our residents also serve on a variety of workgroups and task forces as active participants in the hospital and GME community, including the UW Housestaff Association leadership, Graduate Medical Education Committee, Housestaff Safety and Quality Committee, the Network of Underrepresented Residents and Fellows, and Clinical Oversight Committee to name just a few. Frequently our surgery residents function in leadership roles in these committees.
Our surgery residents also are represented on regional and national bodies including the Program Committee for the North Pacific Surgical Association, the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, AAMC, American Board of Surgery, and the RRC for Surgery. The program also encourages resident national leadership involvement with the American College of Surgeons through membership in RAS-ACS committees and attendance at the annual ACS Leadership and Advocacy Summit. These opportunities help foster leadership qualities and skills while also educating residents about the many ways in which healthcare is evolving. Residents learn first-hand about the challenges that we face as surgeons with changes in healthcare quality reporting, reimbursement models, and policy decisions at both a local and national level.