Residency

How successful is your coordinator?

Residency Program Insider, August 9, 2005

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Dear residency program colleague:

What role does your training program administrator/coordinator-the person who manages the day-to-day activities of your program-play in your program? If you surveyed coordinators and asked them to list the numerous roles they have, you would find at least the following duties on the list:

To the resident, the coordinator is the den parent, counselor, liaison between them and the program director, and the human resources contact. To the program director, the coordinator is secretary, manager, scheduler, social and event planner, data entry/analyst.

What is often not acknowledged is that the coordinator is counselor, advocate, resource, and advisor to both.

The extent to which the coordinator is successful in all these roles is largely dependent on how the program director views the position and how much credibility the coordinator has with the residents. If the program director views the coordinator as a mid-level manager and values his or her skills, knowledge, abilities and opinions, the coordinator can be successful. A program director who views the coordinator in such light will support the coordinator's activities. This support will send a message to the residents-the coordinator is an extension of the program director. This is a powerful perception and promotes adherence to compliance issues.

Further, if the residents see the coordinator as an advocate and resource, someone who has earned their respect and is professionally responsible, the coordinator can be successful. This is a powerful perception as it promotes the well-being and success of the resident. The resident will then support the efforts of the coordinator on their behalf to meet program requirements.

When both of these perceptions come together, the coordinator is given the opportunity to be an active, productive participant, involved in achieving all the goals and objectives of the training program.

That's all for this week!

All the best,

Ruth Ruth H. Nawotniak, MS,C-TAGME
General Surgery Program Coordinator
University at Buffalo - SUNY
President, National Board for Certification- Training Administrators of Graduate Medical Education Programs (TAGME)



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