Setting resident performance expectations

Residency Program Insider, October 8, 2020

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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from The Residency Program Director’s Handbook, Third Edition. For more information about this book, click here.

Because it is likely that most program directors will encounter residents with academic and/or professional difficulties, a resident disciplinary policy must be in place to address the issue of the failing resident. A well-developed resident disciplinary policy, reviewed and approved by expert legal counsel, can guide the program director in the process of resident remediation and in determining the resident’s future status in the program.

In order to determine whether a resident is performing unsatisfactorily, clearly state performance expectations. Make them known to the resident in the form of written goals and objectives, which the program director should review with all residents as a group during their first-year orientation. At minimum, residents should be given instructions regarding how to access goals and objectives for every rotation, which should be readily available in the program’s electronic portfolio. Residents are expected to review the specified goals and objectives before the start of each rotation. It is recommended to have each resident sign an acknowledgement form indicating that they been provided with the list of expectations for their training.

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