June 29, 2017
Continuing to spotlight our McGovern Medical School programs, we recently visited with Dr. Margaret Uthman, associate dean for educational programs, to learn more about our impressive graduate medical education (GME) programs. Located in the largest medical center in the world and the fourth-largest, and most diverse city in the United States, we are attractive to a wide array of trainees, from Texas and beyond, and offer an incredible variety of specialty and subspecialty training programs, serving a broad patient population both in and around the Texas Medical Center.
McGovern Medical School sponsors 145 different GME programs – 74 of which are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Of the programs, 78 are specialty residencies and 67 are subspecialty fellowships. Currently, we have 1,086 trainees enrolled in and learning through these programs – 655 residents and 431 fellows. A big McGovern Texas welcome to the ~450 incoming residents and fellows who are just beginning their work in these highly competitive programs.
The GME Office is a hub of activity, working cooperatively with the GME Committee, program directors, and faculty to maintain the highest quality educational experiences and appropriate work environment for all residents and fellows. To enhance trainee evaluation and feedback at the same time that we meet compliance mandates of the ACGME, we have put in place systems to monitor the progress of each trainee in meeting agreed upon educational milestones (specific to each discipline) in six domains of competency important for all training programs—medical knowledge, patient care, professionalism, interpersonal communication, practice-based learning, and system-based practice. Every 6 months, each trainee has a face-to-face meeting with the program director, or other senior faculty educator, to review progress in meeting milestones.
The GME Office also works with our affiliated hospitals regarding the allocation of funded positions for residents and fellows and documents the effort expended by residents and fellows (for billing purposes and for reimbursement to affiliated hospitals by government agencies). The availability and funding of residency positions is an issue of critical importance throughout the country. For Texas in particular, as medical student positions have grown, we must ensure that our resident and fellowship complement keeps pace to meet the growing demands for physicians.
With representation from both faculty and residents, the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) supervises, coordinates, reviews, and assures quality education of all graduate medical education programs and works to ensure compliance with mandates for continued accreditation. The GMEC accomplishes its task through:
- Establishing policies that apply to all graduate medical education programs.
- Maintaining appropriate oversight of, and liaison with, program directors, assuring that program directors establish and maintain proper oversight of, and liaison with, appropriate personnel of other institutions.
- Regularly reviewing all ACGME letters of accreditation and developing and monitoring action plans for the correction of citations.
- Conducting internal reviews of all graduate medical education programs.
- Assuring that each residency program establishes and implements formal written criteria and processes for the selection, evaluation, promotion, and dismissal of residents.
- Assuring an educational environment in which residents may raise and resolve issues without fear of intimidation or retaliation.
- Collecting intra-institutional information and making recommendations on the appropriate funding for residency programs.
- Monitoring of programs and establishing an appropriate work environment and the duty hours of residents.
Enhancing resident wellness is a current focus nationally and locally. The GME Office and our training programs have been working to support mental and physical health and well-being in an attempt to promote career satisfaction, reduce stress, and prevent burnout. The GME Office also works closely with each of our residents on such items as licensure, institutional permits, educational documentation, loan deferment, and grievance procedures. And in the past year, two new certificate programs were offered to residents and fellows: the Physician Educators Certificate Program and the Healthcare Management Certificate Program.
GME is not only for our residents and fellows. The GME Office and the GMEC provide professional development opportunities for program directors and coordinators with quarterly workshops and informational sessions at the monthly GMEC meetings. In addition they offer a Speakers Bureau — a list of individuals with expertise in a wide variety of topics who are willing to provide Grand Rounds or conference presentations to programs or departments.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of those who work directly and indirectly with our GME programs and trainees. We are grateful for your hard work in building and sustaining successful programs that serve the needs of our trainees so that they receive excellent clinical training and can go out and make a difference in their patients’ lives.