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 MaryAnne Wesner, C-TAGME is the GME program manager for the pediatric residency program at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania.
ACGME: What does this award mean to you?
Ms. Wesner: I was extremely humbled and honored to have received this award. However, receiving this award would not have been possible without the support of an amazing GME leadership team and a terrific program director.
ACGME: What is the most rewarding part of being a coordinator?
Wesner: The relationships that I have established with the residents mean the most to me in this position. I have maintained contact with many of the graduates of our program over the years, and have been honored to share with them not only their professional accomplishments, but also those in their personal lives as well.
ACGME: What is the most challenging part of being a coordinator?
Wesner: This job is always changing. Staying abreast of the policy and accreditation changes can sometimes be overwhelming especially when trying to maintain the day-to-day responsibilities.
ACGME: What advice do you have to brand-new coordinators who are just starting their careers?
Wesner: Be realistic about how long it will take you to learn this position. This is not a job that you can be trained for in a certain number of weeks. Being that we work on an academic year, until you have experienced the full year of activities (and even after that), you will still be learning on the job. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for help, be it other program coordinators within your organization or through your program’s national organizations.
ACGME: Is there anything else you would like to add I haven’t asked about?
Wesner: Program coordinators need to advocate for their positions. Those of us that have been in this role for many years have seen how the position has evolved over time. This position is no longer a simple clerical position even though many will consider you a glorified secretary. Program coordinators are an integral part of the program leadership team.
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.