This interview is one in a series of interviews with recipients of the 2023 ACGME Awards. The awardees join an outstanding group of previous honorees whose work and contributions to graduate medical education (GME) represent the best in the field. They were honored at the ACGME Annual Educational Conference, which took place in Nashville, Tennessee February 23-25, 2023.
2023 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Awardee Dr. Christine Cho is currently the associate program director and previous program director of the pediatric emergency medicine program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California.
ACGME: How did you become involved in medicine, and in academic medicine specifically?
Dr. Cho: I chose academic medicine because it is where I saw a community that wanted to discuss, collaborate, grow, and have an impact on the future of medicine.
ACGME: What does this award mean to you?
Cho: The opportunity to meet and be inspired by other educators and take part in the unique educational retreat that comes with the award [means so much].
ACGME: What do you feel is the most important job the program director has?
Cho: Being available, genuinely interested, organized, and fun.
ACGME: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Cho: Mentoring trainees.
ACGME: What is the most challenging?
Cho: Working in a system that can undervalue education because it is a non-revenue-generating activity.
ACGME: What advice do you have to residents or fellows who may be interested in pursuing a career in academic medicine?
Cho: For me, academic medicine means continuous knowledge and growth—a place to always be a learner.
ACGME: Is there anything you would like to add I haven’t asked about?
Cho: Thank you to all the teachers and mentors that have supported me throughout my journey. You have made a big difference in my life.
Learn more about the ACGME’s Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award and nominate a deserving DIO for the 2024 Award – nominations are due by March 15, 2023.