Changing the misconception about residency coordinators

Residency Program Insider, May 1, 2015

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During HCPro’s recent webcast, The Residency Coordinator’s Path to Leadership, Patti D. Davison, BGS, chair of the American Residency Coordinators in Obstetrics & Gynecology and education coordinator for the department of OB-GYN at East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine, answered several questions from the audience. See one of Davison’s responses below and click here to order the presentation on demand.

Q: Any suggestions on how to debunk the myth or misconception that program coordinators are just the secretary?

Davison: It is hard to change a culture, whether it’s in a small group or in a larger organization such as the ACGME. I have no magic bullet. The thing to do is to take on leadership qualities. When opinions are sought for, speak up. Know your stuff. Make intelligent comments when things are being discussed if you disagree with them. Disagree with the group respectfully but explain why you disagree.

I guess the easiest way to say it is present yourself as more than just a secretary. Present yourself as the position, the authority, and the quality of person that you want to be seen as.

The other thing is too actually open a dialogue with your program director. I have a very open communication with my program director and I have told him that I do not receive the respect that I should from faculty in the past and he’s asked me for specifics. I’ve been able to give him those specifics and he will make a concerted effort in front of faculty members to ask for my opinion and to seek my advice, to let them know he values me as more than just a secretary. It is a slow process but just hang in there and keep at it.

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