Introducing… a chief medical resident

Introducing… a chief medical resident

Stephanie Paolone is the chief internal medical resident at Juravinski Hospital. She is a third-year resident in internal medicine and has been with Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) for three years.

What do you love most about your role?

As chief medical resident, I love having a greater role in the education of other residents and medical students. Medicine and teaching are my passions and having the opportunity to combine these two aspects as part of my job is very rewarding. Morning teaching is very enjoyable as it not only gives learners the opportunity to ask questions in a safe environment but it also enhanced my own learning and personal growth.

What do you find challenging about your role?

Taking a step-back from direct patient care and focusing my time towards other aspects of the job, like administrative duties. This was very different from what I was used to doing as a resident and it was definitely an adjustment. I’m glad to have had this opportunity as it gave me insight into the enormous amount of work involved within a residency program, but working closely with those in administrative roles was an invaluable learning opportunity.

My most gratifying experiences come from becoming a mentor for the residents and clerks

Describe a typical day in your role?

A typical day usually starts with morning teaching for the first and second year residents and clinical clerks. This may involve presenting an interesting case about a patient seen overnight, or going through a series of ward calls and pre-code situations to give the residents practise with real-life scenarios. The remaining part of the day may consist of organizing the subspecialist residents to present at noon teaching rounds, coordinating teaching sessions with the nurses on the Internal medicine wards or doing patient rounds with the teams.

Tell us about your most gratifying experience at HHS.

As the chief resident, I feel my most gratifying experiences come from becoming a mentor for the residents and clerks. I feel I have gained so much experience and knowledge over the past three years. Having the opportunity to share it with my colleagues and students is very rewarding. As the chief, I am able to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of team members and guide them accordingly to achieve their individual goals. It’s very gratifying to see a student change and grow overtime and know that you helped them move towards their own personal achievements.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about your role?

I think most people would be surprised by the many hats chief residents wear. As a resident, a lot of your training involves patient care and learning how to be a good clinician. As the chief resident, you must take on the role of resident advocate, which is a bridge between residents and faculty.  Finally, there are several administrative duties that are part of the chief’s role which may include creating the teaching schedules and managing coverage absences, while being involved in research projects and developing leadership skills.