With all this hubbub over finding the next Chief Resident (remember when it was just a choice between, like, Bailey (Chanda Wilson) and Callie (Sara Ramirez)?), we needed some clarification on what a Chief Resident actually is so we did some research. It's essentially a person who oversees all the other residents, a clinical and administrative director of the staff in a certain department. Duties could include arranging teaching rounds, scheduling meetings, interacting with senior staff, being the advocate for the residents, and integrating new residents into the fold.
As Owen (Kevin McKidd) pointed out in last night's episode, it includes a whole lot of paperwork and minutiae that leaves less time for surgery, which is why Callie bailed on the position and why Cristina (Sandra Oh) would be wise to do the same. Only time will tell how the next Chief Resident will enjoy the promotion!