Ways to build a relationship with your program director

Residency Program Insider, December 10, 2020

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Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is adapted from HCPro’s new book, The Residency Coordinator's Handbook, Fourth Edition. For more information about this book or to order your copy, click here.

The program director will value the coordinator as a critical administrative team member once he or she sees the coordinator as a professional who has an in-depth understanding of accreditation requirements, GME concepts, and management needs of the training program.

There are several actions that coordinators can take to build a respectful and supportive working relationship with the program director, including the following:

  • Be proactive. Learn about the program and its history, and understand the various requirements the program must follow. If you find that the program is deficient in an area, speak up, develop a plan of action, and help implement it.
  • Meet with the program director. These sessions should be two-way conversations, not simply the program director dictating tasks. Take the opportunity to share your accomplishments. Review the projects you completed, especially if you went above and beyond in an area or proactively handled a potentially disastrous situation. Tell him or her about processes, systems, evaluation forms, and additions to the program website that you created.
  • Get involved. Attend resident meetings and curricular development sessions. It is okay to be in places where others might not expect to find a coordinator. Not only will you have a better idea of what is happening in the program, but you can also have input on major changes that may affect your daily management of the program.
  • Stay one step ahead of the program director. Promptly provide information the program director requests. Never wait until the last minute. Prepare the program director for meetingsand issues by providing support and compiling data or reports when needed. Anticipate the program director’s requests. Copying the program director on important emails to the residents and faculty will keep him or her informed.

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