A Job Within a Job: Residency Rotation Director

At the risk of getting analogical, there are many hats in the haberdashery of a Clinical Educator. Many institutions specify that faculty do more than provide clinical care. Though the classic triple threat triumvirate of clinical, research, and education serve as guideposts for how we should spend our time it is important to recognize that within these categories there are quite a few roles and positions that faculty can choose to occupy. One of those roles is the residency rotation director. Near the end of my first year as a faculty physician I assumed this role within the Division of Emergency Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. My career interests were education focused, and I felt that this would allow me to gain valuable experience in a position of leadership. I also saw a need to refine our curriculum and overhaul the evaluation process for our residents on the Emergency Medicine rotation. This role has come to define my niche within my Division and I’m now seen as “The Resident Guy” and have been able to get involved in a number of valuable initiatives. What do they do? The rotation director is a liaison between the residency program leadership (program directors), the departmental faculty and the residents themselves. Their specific duties may include rotation orientation, curriculum development, evaluation, conflict mediation, scheduling, mentoring and more. It can be challenging to balance these many duties with a busy clinical schedule. Staying organized and making good use of one’s administrative assistant’s talents are essential. The role comes with a bit of baggage in terms of scheduling meetings, and thus developing overall goals in accordance with Emergency Medicine and Residency leadership is incredibly important in making sure that your time is goal-oriented and well spent. How do you become one? Ask. Seriously, that’s it. The ACGME specifies that each residency rotation have a faculty member who is responsible for the oversight of the aforementioned tasks. First, you can find out who is responsible for this role in your department. As faculty you are responsible for charting your career path. If you are interested in a career in education or leadership this can be a great way to get your feet wet. When interviewing for a faculty position, it can be helpful to consider whose job you want. Not that you’re looking to depose anyone – but more specifically who has a role that you’d like to have in the future, and what do you need to do to learn more about it and get involved. Make it clear that you’d like to be next in line for the role, and talk openly and honestly with your interviewer and arrange to meet with the current rotation director. Tell me more about the specific responsibilities? Curriculum Development This role entails determining not only the schedule for lectures and other learning opportunities, but also making sure that your residents are learning what they are supposed to be learning. Familiarize yourself with the rotation goals and objectives as specified by the residency program as well as the American Board of Pediatrics content specifications. Make sure that the residents are learning during and after their shifts. For me this involves both canvassing them for feedback in person and collecting structured feedback after our educational sessions. You might also think about including online modules or websites into your curriculum. You could start your own, or direct them to blogs such as PEMBlog.com and PedEMMorsels.com. Our residents have eight hours of protected time per month for learning during which I was able to secure attending coverage. Our educational sessions include […]

Brad Sobolewski MD MEd