Connect coordinators with mentoring programs

Residency Program Insider, September 9, 2008

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At Children’s Medical Center (Children’s) in Dallas, our residency program coordinators have varying levels of experience in medical education—from years on the job to none at all.

In 2007, a new program coordinator asked me if the GME office offered any training for new coordinators. She felt overwhelmed with all of her new responsibilities and needed some help getting acquainted with the medical education maze.

Unfortunately, my answer to her question was no, but I thought her idea was great. There’s a lot of new coordinators who need to get up to speed, so I asked her if she would help me create a training program.

For the past nine months, Children’s GME office has worked closely with five experienced and dedicated program coordinators who volunteered their time and expertise for this project. The team started the initiative by first creating a program coordinator’s manual specifically designed for the coordinators at Children’s. It includes sections on the following:

  • Credentialing requirements at Children’s
  • Children’s GME policies
  • Important contact information
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Information on ACGME requirements and accreditation
  • Information about processes, policies, and procedures unique to our institution

Once we finished writing the manual, the group implemented a mentoring program for new coordinators. Several experienced coordinators agreed to volunteer their time to address the questions, concerns, or needs of their new colleagues. To advertise the program, GME office involved program directors. We explained the mentoring program and how new coordinators could benefit from the mentors’ guidance. As of September 1st, we have six coordinators working with mentors.

We let our mentors and mentees develop their relationship on their own. Some pairs have regular lunch meetings to discuss questions. Other mentees simply call or e-mail their mentors when they need help. Our hope is that the mentoring program will help new coordinators ease into their position. Eventually, the mentees will become mentors, and the program will continue to grow.


Jennifer Reemtsma, M.Ed.
Manager, Graduate Medical Education
Children's Medical Center of Dallas

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