This interview is one in a series of interviews with recipients of the 2022 ACGME Awards. These awardees join an outstanding group of previous honorees whose work and contributions to graduate medical education (GME) represent the best in the field. They will be honored at the ACGME Annual Educational Conference, which will take place virtually March 30-April 1, 2022.
2022 Debra L. Dooley GME Program Coordinator Excellence Awardee LaToya Wright currently serves as the institutional administrator at UT Southwestern Medical Center; she was program coordinator for diagnostic radiology, for which she is receiving this award.
ACGME: How did you become involved in academic medicine?
LaToya Wright: I was exposed to academic medicine by working in the business office at the University of Missouri – Kansas City Medical School. Before then, I had no clue about the program coordinator role of graduate medical education (GME). By working with program coordinators, I was quickly drawn to the thought of leading and managing a specialty specific program which led me to my role as the Radiology-Diagnostic Program Coordinator for many years.
ACGME: What does this award mean to you?
Wright: I consider this to be the most prestigious award for program coordinators in GME. It recognizes my hard work and dedication to medical education over the past decade.
ACGME: What is the most rewarding part of being a coordinator?
Wright: It is truly a rewarding feeling to know that I can influence and contribute to medical education outside of the hospital setting.
ACGME: What is the most challenging part of being a coordinator?
Wright: Every day brings a new challenge. But that’s what I love about it! Every day is different!
ACGME: What advice do you have to brand-new coordinators who are just starting their careers?
Wright: You will not learn everything overnight. By the time you have gone through one cycle, things change. It’s a continuous learning experience – always be open-minded and build a healthy and solid foundation with your program director. The key to success is teamwork!
ACGME: Is there anything else you would like to add I haven’t asked about?
Wright: As a program coordinator, you are a member of the leadership team and critical to the program’s success. The position is what you make it and the opportunity to present and/ or publish at the local and national levels are possible if you desire.
Learn more about the ACGME’s Debra L. Dooley GME Program Coordinator Excellence Award and nominate a deserving program coordinator for the 2023 Award – nominations are due by April 6, 2022.