Those coordinators who preferred to remain anonymous were quite specific about the consequences of not respecting or cooperating with your residency coordinator.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 33 – No 05 – May 2014
When I entered the business world, my savvy mom (a training and development expert) gave me some crucial advice: make friends with the support people first—they can make you or break you! Residency program coordinators fit quite nicely into that equation. I caught up with several of them to get some interesting insights into how they affect the residents they guide, assist, and support every year.
Two Different Approaches to Coordination
Eve Dinh has been coordinating the emergency medicine residents at University of California, San Francisco for a little less than seven years, and while she says the job keeps her on her toes, she enjoys the wide variety of hats she wears on any given day. Cindy Rush is a veteran, coordinating the residency program at Texas A&M’s Scott & White Healthcare for the past 22 years, and sees herself as the ultimate gatekeeper. The other contributing residency coordinators requested anonymity for reasons that will be apparent.
Both women have a different approach to the job based on their experience and longevity. Ms. Dinh keeps the relationship between herself and the residents friendly but professional, while Ms. Rush’s residents don’t hesitate to call her Mom. Ms. Dinh sees her strongest value to the residents as a facilitator and liaison, a general resource for everything from schedules and procedures to coordinating resident paychecks. Now on her fourth program director, Ms. Rush has retained a nurturing role with her residents, protecting them at every turn, particularly after a very sad incident early in her tenure that took the life of one of them. While Ms. Dinh leaves much of the nurturing role to her program director, Susan Promes, MD, she makes herself available pretty much 24-7 should the need arise. Ms. Rush is a steady supportive wall at the frontlines, even advising residents on the potential dangers of social media and guiding their steps through the residency process.
When it comes to a resident’s job search, their approaches also differ. Ms. Dinh will disseminate information as it comes in from various sources. As job information comes in from recruiters and groups, it is put into a binder that residents can access at will. If, however, something comes in and she knows a resident is looking in that specific area, she’ll forward it directly to the resident. Ms. Rush’s residents will come to her for advice and referrals to those residents who have come before them, many of whom are now hiring or in an administrative capacity. She’s a one-woman shopping stop for the Texas job market. Ms. Rush functions as a real career guide, while Ms. Dinh is more of a referral source for incoming information.