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VA Chief Residents in Quality and Patient Safety (CRQS)


Purpose: The CRQS initiative allows facilities to request new physician chief resident base positions to enhance their ability to care for Veterans by redesigning medical education and patient care to include the area of quality and patient safety. As of the beginning of AY2017, VA will have have 84 CRQS positions at 57 VA Medical Centers.

Chief Residents: The CRQS is a non-accredited, post-residency position. Chief Residents must have completed their primary residency training for initial board eligibility and qualify for credentialing and privileging as a licensed independent practitioner in their specialty. CRQS is both a teaching and learning role, which must be distinguished from the more traditional administrative role of chief residents. CRQSs must be in "core" programs such as internal medicine, psychiatry, and general surgery. The requesting VA facility must have at least eight VA funded resident positions per Chief Resident position, including the CRQS.

Request for Proposals: Facilities must apply for a CRQS position via a competitive online process. A strong curriculum must be demonstrated as well as the local availability of mentors who are qualified in quality improvement and in patient safety or in both. Moreover, support from the local facility in terms of protected time for the mentors and travel support to at least one off-site meeting per year for both the mentors and the CRQS must be demonstrated.

National Curriculum: Beginning July 1, 2012, all CRQS sites participate in a national curriculum that features:

  • A "CRQS Boot Camp" or immersion experience in the fall to teach advanced quality improvement and patient safety concepts, skills, and hands-on use of simulation in teaching
  • Monthly two-way interactive video-teleconferences, with pre-assigned preparatory work
  • A mentored project in QI/PS, with an expectation of presentation at a regional or national venue
  • Faculty development and networking of CRQS incumbents via online supports and websites.


  1. Faculty development in the areas of quality improvement (QI) and patient safety (PS);
  2. Teaching QI & PS to all residents;
  3. Enhanced development of competency in system-based practice; and
  4. Improvements in institutional performance and patient safety through changes in the patient safety culture


  • VA National Center for Patient Safety

CRQS OAA Contacts:

Kathleen Klink, MD – Director, Health Professions Education, OAA
Christy Clary, MSW – Senior Project Manager, OAA Medical & Dental Education

Vince Watts, MD, Psychiatry, White River Junction
Douglas E. Paull, MD, Director, NCPS
Jordan Soncrant, Management Analyst, White River Junction