Tips for New Residency Coordinator Success

Residency Program Insider, May 19, 2009

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If you’ve been a coordinator for fewer than three years, chances are there are still some parts of this job that make your head spin. Most coordinators agree that it takes three years to feel completely at ease as a training program coordinator. During the first three years, new coordinators should expect the following:

  • First year: Everything is new, confusing, and overwhelming. Everyone speaks a foreign language.
  • Second year: Some tasks begin to feel familiar as you gain a sense of cycles and flow between activities.
  • Third year: You begin to see and understand the bigger picture. You know where your program stands in the whole scheme of GME.

Getting through the first three years is no easy feat. To help you make it through, consider the following tips, which will set you up for success in your position:

  • Give yourself time to learn and understand
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Know when you need help and ask the program director, GME office, or ACGME for guidance
  • Develop a team approach to managing the program
  • Always, always, always ask questions
  • Regularly review your program requirements
  • Be supportive of your program director
  • Find support for yourself, including mentors within the institution and your clinical specialty
  • Balance job and family

Adapted from The Complete Residency Program Management Guide, by Ruth Nawotniak, MS, C-TAGME.

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