Have residents play an active role in your program evaluation committee

Residency Program Insider, October 9, 2019

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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from The Program Evaluation Committee Handbook: From Annual Program Evaluation to Self-Study. For more information about this book or to order your copy, click here.

The ACGME requires at least one resident or fellow to be a part of the program evaluation committee (PEC). You may want to start recruiting with the chief residents because they have already committed themselves to a leadership role in the program. However, look beyond your chief residents, too. You may have residents who are interested in program leadership, administration, or development but were not elected as chief residents. Consider approaching residents who have created rotation handbooks or manuals, who often volunteer for teaching assignments, or who lead quality improvement or patient safety initiatives.

One caveat, though: Any resident who performs below the level of his or her peers should not be considered for the extra responsibilities of PEC membership. The most important commitment for such a resident is to concentrate on academic and professional self-improvement, not on program improvement.

Asking residents to volunteer for the PEC is a good start. You do not want to force or guilt a resident into joining a committee; residents are very busy with clinical duties, studying for exams, preparing for conferences, etc., and they may not be able to add on more responsibilities without affecting the quality of their professional performance. If nobody volunteers, then the program director or chief resident may approach trainees whom they feel would be a good fit for the committee.

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