We’re excited to celebrate our Graduate Medical Education program through a blog series that will culminate with GME Appreciation Day on February 16. Get to know the names and faces of our program! The GME department is comprised of residents, fellows, program directors, associate program directors, program administrators and GME office staff.
ACGME IMG GME Track ALSO
AAFP WebADS CSA CMS
AMA DIO Step 1, Step 2 ABP/ ABIM/ ABFM
AAMC ITE PALS NRMP
USMLE ACLS/ BLS ERAS ECFMG NRP
“You want me to call who, to find out what?” Being new anywhere is a challenge. Being new with a variety of acronyms and no dictionary is daunting!
When I first began in my role as Residency Program Administrator, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. The week I started, my program director, and my colleague were on vacation, and my associate program director and chief were on our inpatient service. I sat in my office for a week, trying to read all the manuals I could find, to see if I could make sense of anything. How did I fit in to this department? What role did I play?
Eight years later, I feel comfortable and confident to say I fit in well and I play an important role within our team. When people ask me “What do you do?” I can now answer them:
- I manage the day-to-day aspects of the residency program.
- Residency program years are very cyclical (but the people make each year unique!)
- I help organize an orientation for the new residents, followed shortly by an all-resident retreat. This helps the residents to get to know each other, as well as the leadership team (Program Director, Associate Program Directors, myself and our Education Coordinator).
- I gather, assess and input data into our accreditation website.
- I administer and proctor the annual resident In Training Exam.
- As a part of the leadership team, I review medical student applications for our residency program.
- I invite applicants to interview, arrange for their interview day and correspond as necessary.
- I organize information needed for the “Match Week” when students and programs receive information regarding who has been ‘matched’ to train at which program.
- I work with the students to gather all the information needed to begin working at the University of Vermont Medical Center.
- I plan and participate in our annual graduation event, “Hail and Farewell.”
- I create the daily schedules for each resident in our program, which includes partnering with different departments and negotiating time on different services.
- I play an important role in the training of the residents in my program – seeing the accomplished physicians they have become upon graduation makes me so proud!
The Residency Program Administrator role is similar to health care in general – it is constantly changing (people, regulations, and expectations). My role requires working in teams, striving for safety and effective training of the residents in our program. I love that my role is an integral part of the entire process.
Sometimes, it is challenging to transition from student to resident. This is particularly true when the resident comes from out of state. Between my colleagues and me, we sometimes get together each year to tell stories of some of the ways we have really helped and been there for our residents. Some examples include:
- Changing a tire in the parking lot for a resident who had a flat tire.
- Meeting a tow truck to pick up a resident’s car.
- Celebrate someone’s birthday (if a resident is new, no one may even be aware of this yet).
- Going with a resident to a doctor’s appointment, when they don’t have anyone else to go with them.
- Closing the door, handing out tissues, and being an ear to listen/ shoulder to cry on.
These are the meaningful events that stay with both the resident and the administrator, even after they’ve left the training program. The privilege of being able to help someone in such a special way is what often keeps administrators committed to this role.
I have now presented three national presentations, collaborated on two poster presentations, received my certification as a Training Administrator in Graduate Medical Education, and have seen 51 residents graduate our program. I feel truly rewarded to work in such a unique role and can’t wait to see what each new year brings!
Jennifer Wilson is a Residency Program Administrator in Graduate Medical Education/ Family Medicine at The University of Vermont Medical Center.