Program coordinator importance

Residency Program Insider, November 5, 2020

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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from The Complete Guide to Continuous GME Accreditation. For more information about this book, click here.

The importance of a program coordinator extends beyond lending a supportive ear for a resident or managing resident files. The role has evolved over the years and is more in-depth. Coordinators are imperative to a program; they work diligently behind the scenes, setting up the program for success. How exactly do they do this, you ask? Coordinators’ roles, which are ever-evolving, include but are not limited to:

  • Managing or assisting with onboarding activities
  • Managing and completing resident files
  • Tracking compliance, such as visas, scholarly activity, and certifications
  • Duty-hour monitoring
  • Assisting program directors with the Electronic Residency Application Service, the National Resident Matching Program, GMETrack, and/or Accreditation Data System
  • Assisting with preparations for the 10-year self-study visit
  • Giving support during CLER visits

The list of the program coordinator’s responsibilities can go on. The coordinator acts as a resource for all involved with the program and provides support in a number of ways. Ultimately, the role of a coordinator is often selfless, but it is a cornerstone to get the program operating smoothly.

Over the years, the role has changed dramatically. What started out as an administrative assistant role many years ago has transformed into a program manager who partners with the program director to ensure all requirements are met and all residents are well managed. While this list is not comprehensive, program coordinators should have the following to ensure program success:

  • Project management skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Intermediate/advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Conflict resolution and problem-solving skills
  • The ability to gather and analyze statistical data and generate reports
  • Knowledge of finance, accounting, budgeting, and cost control procedures

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