by jantzl on September 24, 2020

Earlier today, I had a conversation with a program coordinator friend. She was running a survey to learn about how people perceive program coordinators. I had some thoughts, and she seemed to appreciate hearing them.

We have been working with GME programs (That's Graduate Medical Education for our friends who are not in academic medicine) for the last eight years. We spend a massive amount of time studying programs and talking to programs and reaching out to programs all around the country. I spend so much time doing those things that I don't stop to think about everything that we have to offer those programs. Of course, we have technical tools built to make things faster/easier/better and reduce the technical burden that contributes to burnout. But also we have years of a broad perspective of GME.

  • What do programs look like from an applicant perspective?

  • What do some programs do better than others?

  • What little unconscious improvements and efficiencies are making a difference?

  • Where do we see missed opportunities?

Speaking of missed opportunities, this is one that I see all the time: rushing away from a conversation with a vendor is a missed opportunity. Here is what you miss: We would love to hear your questions, share what we know, and look for answers where we don't have them. Sure, not all vendors will do this; but ask a question, and you'll be able to tell pretty quickly whether they are all about sales or ready and willing to help. I strongly suspect it's worth the extra 30 seconds.

If you are a program director, program coordinator, chief, resident, fellow, or in any way associated with graduate medical education and reading this, I welcome you to reach out to pick our brains. You might be surprised by what we can answer and what we would be willing and able to do for you.