#ACGME2019 Day 1: Pre-Conference Round-Up

March 7, 2019

Collaboration and connection were front-and-center during the six pre-conferences today at to kick off the 2019 Annual Educational Conference. The pre-conferences, which are designed to appeal to those across experience levels from a first-year coordinator to seasoned designated institutional official (DIO), mixed detailed information about ACGME accreditation with inspirational and aspirational examples of how each member of the graduate medical education (GME) community can positively influence the experience of patients, peers, colleagues, and themselves through their work and unique contributions.

Coordinator Forum: Inspiration, Ideation, Impact
With more than 1,000 participants, the Coordinator Forum is the largest pre-conference at the conference. The day-long forum combined large plenary sessions with smaller, targeted breakout groups and a structured lunch, all with the aim of giving new and experienced coordinators opportunity to gain practical knowledge and network with colleagues.

The plenaries covered the importance of infusing work with joy and meaning and how coordinators, by focusing on finding their own meaning in medicine, can pass that meaning along to the residents and fellows they serve; the revised Common Program Requirements; and how to recognize and address microagressions in a team setting.

In a surprise, emotional presentation, ACGME Director of Educational Activities Debra Dooley was honored for her years of service to the organization, to the GME community, and to program and institutional coordinators. Ms. Dooley will retire in April after 22 years at the ACGME, and nearly 40 years in graduate medical education.

The ACGME renamed the GME Program Coordinator Excellence Award--which is given annually to recognize program coordinators who have an in-depth understanding of the accreditation process, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and projects to improve GME programs--after Ms. Dooley.

"The fact that all of you are in this room is in significant part due to Debbie's efforts to professionalize the role of the coordinator and to be an advocate for all of you at the ACGME over these many years," said ACGME President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP. "About six months ago we put our minds together to try to understand how we could honor Debbie as she moves to this next phase of her life, and we think we've come up with a very appropriate one, and we wanted to announce it here--with 1200 of her closest friends."

DIO 101 and 102: Basics of Institutional Accreditation and Improvement and Innovation in the Sponsoring Institution
The morning session included didactic and interactive learning activities focusing on the roles and responsibilities of the DIOs to oversee ACGME-accredited programs and compliance with ACGME accreditation requirements. New and experienced DIOs attended the afternoon session that emphasized the professional development of the DIO as a health systems leader. Pathway Innovators participating in the ACGME’s Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments initiative were on hand to describe their experiences in using team collaboration in GME, and to share lessons learned when the DIO takes on a role as health systems leader.

Throughout the day, DIOs were encouraged to sit with colleagues from similar types of institutions (e.g., medical schools, institutions with three or fewer programs, etc.) to maximize collaboration and inspire connections beyond the conference.

“After last year’s pre-conference, what’s been identified as the most valuable thing is meeting people to stay in touch with,” explained speaker Dr. Susan Kirk, DIO and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at the University of Virginia. But with such diversity among institutions, a DIO at an institution with 1,500 residents and fellows will have a very different experience than someone who is at an institution with three residents. “We want to get them to meet people they can reach out to, ask questions of, and share ideas that will work for their type of institution.”

ACGME/AOGME Pre-Conference for Osteopathic Programs and Institutions
There was a full house for the ACGME/AOGME (Assembly of Osteopathic Graduate Medical Educators) co-sponsored Pre-Conference for Osteopathic Programs and Institutions today. The day was packed with learning and collaborating, interactive workshops and didactic presentations, and the energy was high. Dr. Lorenzo Pence of the ACGME and Dr. Lisa Nash from the AOGME welcomed attendees and kicked the morning off. Some highlights from sessions throughout the rest of the day included the sharing of updates to the ACGME’s Accreditation Data System, an overview of the Common Program Requirements, discussions on Osteopathic Recognition, a walk-through session on a Year in the Life of a Program, and more. The National Residency Match Program (NRMP) presented as well, with presenter Mona Signer, NRMP president and CEO, noting that there are “more than enough first-year residency positions currently available for 4th-year DO and US MD students and US citizen IMGs.”

Introductory Course for New Program Directors
New program directors came together to learn about both the written and unwritten requirements of their role. Sessions covered the ACGME and its Review Committees, ACGME data collection systems, the program review process, discussions of approaches to challenging issues with which program directors must contend, and much more. Didactic sessions and interactive small-group workshops provided a wealth of information to arm the newer program director for success. Participants appreciated learning about finance issues, and breakout case studies offered opportunities to dig in to details of real-life situations that program directors face. Dr. Elizabeth Ristagno from Mayo Clinic tweeted from one of the sessions, "A great pre-conference for new PDs/APDs! When multiple speakers...say 'This is the best job in the world,' you know you've found your tribe."

Back to Bedside
Current participants in the ACGME's Back to Bedside initiative came together for a pre-conference focused on harnessing change management to sustain the momentum of their projects focused on bringing joy and meaning to their work.

Through interactive sessions, the engaged group of approximately 75 residents, fellows, Back to Bedside Work and Advisory Group members, and ACGME staff members shared ideas for enabling action to remove barriers, generating short term-wins, and more. “Your role as a leader is identifying barriers, removing those barriers, and facilitating fixing them,” said Dink Jardine, MD, chair of the Back to Bedside Work and Advisory Group. The day culminated in a dedicated poster session during the evening Welcoming/Poster Reception and Exhibitor Kick-Off event.

There’s still time to apply for funding for the next cycle of Back to Bedside awards. Visit www.acgme.org/backtobedside and learn more about how to submit a proposal to share ideas for improving resident and fellow well-being and the patient-physician relationship. Proposals are due by March 15.

To read more about Back to Bedside, including project highlights, read an article published today in insideOME.

Get a snapshot of what went on between and after sessions by searching #ACGME2019 on Twitter! We're excited to see what tomorrow brings as the full Conference gets underway. Stay tuned for more!