In order to solidify common goals and discuss hot topics, an Education Team Retreat was held on August 24, 2019 at the home of Chair Prabhakar Baliga, M.D. The ACGME program directors, associate program directors, student course directors, program coordinators and our resident representative were invited to attend. With 16 eager attendees on a Saturday morning, we served breakfast and started the discussion.
The program directors voiced what made the most significant impact on them during their residency was autonomy and mentorship.
They recounted faculty interactions that positively influenced them including achieving trust and respect, demonstrating work-life balance, providing a family environment like asking residents to join for Thanksgiving, but also pushing their comfort level clinically. Each said they chose their residency because the chiefs seemed competent to practice, had good resident camaraderie, diversity, and reputation for hard work.
The program coordinators discussed difficult situations and expressed they appreciated their program directors when they lead with humility, relate to others, and recognize that education is a team sport. The more difficult part however was defining the MUSC Training Product.
We found the most successful graduates are proactive, hard-working, empathetic and inquisitive among other characteristics.
In order to attract these candidates, we created a Social Media Task force led by Andrea Abbott, M.D., MSCR and General Surgery Program Coordinator Sara Frampton that will develop an Instagram account and collaborate with Lauren Hooker, communications manager, to optimize our online profiles. We then created a Diversity and Inclusion Task force with Lance Tavana, M.D., Andrea Abbott, M.D., Alicia Privette, M.D., and Milton Armstrong, M.D. They currently have several recommendations under review that will propel our programs forward.
The age-old question of recruitment for serious scientists versus community surgeons was concluded relatively easily. We want our graduates to have a wide range of career paths which we will create with varied faculty backgrounds, high case mix index, community surgeon engagement, resident-focused curriculum, and development of academic-professional pathways. In other words, we accept all applicants and feel comfortable that we can create the experience and professional niche of their choosing.
Finally, during the session, we prepped for a budget retreat to prioritize budget items and ensure equality among programs. Jean Marie Ruddy, M.D. and the Research Council have revised the Travel Policy for Residents which will be finalized and dispersed after the budget retreat. As always, send questions and suggestions our way. We strive to inspire, promote, and encourage our learners every day!
Cynthia Talley, M.D., FACS
Vice Chair of Education
MUSC Department of Surgery