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How Will I be Supported?

Chief Residents

Howard Silberstein, MSc, MD, MPA photo

Rachel Bian, MD and Timothy Smilnak, MD,
4th Year Chief Residents


Chief residents provide an invaluable link between residents and the residency administration. There are two chief residents who, in addition to frequently teaching residents and managing myriad schedules, act as a support and sounding board for the residents. Chief residents are fourth-year residents who have completed their training here, understand the intricacies of our program, and have chosen to spend an additional year to serve the needs of both residents and the program. With only 2 clinic sessions each week, each chief resident devotes 80% of their time to being available as needed to residents, helping to manage the day-to-day operations of the residency program, and to assisting with the development of new programs and curricula to enhance the learning experience.

Balint and Intern Support Group

PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents meet together every 4 weeks for Balint Group, a facilitated model of discussing the process of becoming a family physician and exploring some of the most complex patient care challenges we each face.

PGY-1 residents meet every 2 week, alternating with their own Balint Group (distinct from the group for PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents) and an additional Intern Support Group. First-year residents have unique issues of physician identity and adapting to the various services and demands on their lives, and benefit from the additional protected time to discuss these issues in a safe and solution-oriented space.

Career Planning

In addition to the group sessions during the PGY-3 Practice Management seminar, each third-year resident gets individual, personalized time to meet with a faculty member. Residents reflect on their career goals and future career paths, finalize their job search preparations, and have individual contract review prior to deciding on their next steps after completion of residency training.


Resident faculty retreatThe residency sponsors two retreats annually in the Fall and Spring. The Spring retreat is a day long retreat that allows faculty and residents to take a constructive look at the residency. We discuss areas that may need changes or updating and develop work plans. The Fall retreat is a half-day retreat for residents only with a primary focus on Resident Wellness, and a forum for input to the chief residents on specific rotations and the program in general. New initiatives often arise from these sessions.

Faculty Advisor

Faculty advisors are assigned to every resident; they track each resident's progress, assist in developing goals throughout residency training and planning for the future. In the distant past, residents and faculty would struggle to find time to meet regularly. To overcome that barrier, the residency decided over 10 years ago to provide protected meeting time once every 4 weeks within the Thursday afternoon teaching schedule.

Faculty-Resident Interaction Committee (FRIC)orientation June 14

The monthly Faculty-Resident Interaction Committee meeting allows the opportunity for residents to provide substantial input on decision-making within the residency. The process of residents being heard and valued models, for residents' professional development, the importance of listening to the input of others and of working in groups to solve problems. The meeting is organized and led by the chief residents, but attended by all members of the Residency Administration leadership team and is open to any faculty member who wishes to attend.


Orientation for incoming residents is scheduled for the entire week prior to starting the first rotation. This week gives the class time to become acquainted, choose partners and become familiar with the outpatient practices as well as the inpatient rotations. Several activities during orientation include faculty and the PGY-2 and 3 classes to give everyone an opportunity to welcome the new class.

Residency Wellness Committee

Our department and residency program have recently created a multi-disciplinary committee to help address the wellness needs of residents, faculty, and all of our co-workers. More information about this can be found at our Wellness page.

Residency Peer Support Program

Our residency program has recently created a Peer Support committee to help address critical incidents that might affect the wellness of our residents. All members have undergone special training from the University's Employee Assistance Program. More information about this can be found at our Wellness page.