Ask the expert: What resources exist for PIF preparation?

Residency Program Insider, September 7, 2010

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One of the most valuable resources for help in completing the PIF and preparing for the
site visit is your colleagues’ expertise.

The majority of specialties have a professional organization for program directors, such as the Association of Pediatric Program Directors, that meet once every year and frequently have regional meetings. These meetings are an excellent way of connecting and networking with colleagues and getting assistance from them. Each meeting usually has a seminar or workshop addressing site visit preparation. Additionally, the websites of these professional organizations may have an area dedicated to sharing best practices, examples of tools for teaching and evaluation, and other helpful resources.

Program coordinators also have access to professional forums—either under the umbrella of the program director organization or as a separate organization—that allow for networking and sharing of information and best practices. Don’t be reluctant to contact a colleague who has recently gone through a site visit. It isn’t against the rules, and you can gain helpful hints to avoid mistakes.

The ACGME also has an annual meeting in the spring that addresses program management and always has at least one excellent seminar on completing the PIF and preparing for a site visit.
Program directors and coordinators should also feel free to call the ACGME for guidance. For questions regarding PIF completion, including questions about content, contact the accreditation administrator for your specialty.

Above all else, do not forget to network and to interact with colleagues within your own institution. Most institutions have regularly scheduled meetings for program directors and coordinators, as well as the required graduate medical education committee meetings. These are excellent opportunities for discussing issues common to all specialties, especially education and evaluation of the core competencies.

This week’s question and answer are from The Program Information Form Made Simple, by Jeri L. Whitten, MS, C-TAGME. Now available for $99.

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