Meet Michigan Medicine: Graduate Medical Education

March 26, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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Earlier this month on Match Day, thousands of medical students across the country anxiously opened up envelopes to find out where they would continue their medical education. Among those students were more than 200 who matched with U-M, meaning they would be participating in their specialty residency training program in Ann Arbor.

But what happens to those trainees once Match Day is over? How do they eventually become vital members of the Michigan Medicine community?

They do so with the help of a small, dedicated team in the Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME). Here’s what you may not know about the group that oversees the training of future physicians at Michigan Medicine.

Helping others find success

GME is made up of 13 individuals who provide institutional support for all accredited residency and fellowship programs. That encompasses more than 400 incoming future board-certified physicians annually, totaling more than 1,250 learners in 106 different programs at any one time.

“We work to ensure all new learners are fully prepared to see patients from Day One,” said J. Sybil Biermann, M.D., the associate dean for graduate medical education and professor of orthopaedic surgery at Michigan Medicine.

Orientation is just the starting point for GME. They work year-round to collaborate with residency and fellowship program directors and coordinators — staff members who oversee residents and fellows in each specialty at Michigan Medicine — giving them the resources they need to do their jobs well. For instance, the team develops policy templates, compiles best practices and offers monthly professional development opportunities so the directors and coordinators are best suited to help programs run smoothly.

“Often, program directors and coordinators are the most influential support system for residents and fellows on campus,” Biermann said. “If we help them do their jobs better, we help our learners find success.”

GME also analyzes quality indicators to see if learners are accomplishing their goals and report back to various accrediting bodies about the graduate programs at Michigan Medicine.

“We provide guidance and oversight to our program directors and program coordinators on requirements related to successful compliance and, ultimately, continued accreditation,” said Shiela Julin, an accreditation specialist with GME. “Our directors and coordinators are essential to maintaining the high-caliber programs offered at U-M.”

Improving the learning environment

There’s another task that GME carries out which affects residents and fellows more directly.

“We are responsible for the clinical learning environment across the academic medical center,” Julin said. “That means we look at opportunities to make greater improvements to things like the patient safety culture, resident and fellow engagement in safety and quality initiatives, and professionalism.”

In the end, the learning environment must meet the approval of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which visits Michigan Medicine periodically.

“We are preparing to host another Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) later this year,” Julin said. “When that time comes, individuals from across campus will be asked to play a role in confirming that we offer a clinical environment where learners can prosper.”

While the date is not yet known for the ACGME CLER site visit, stay tuned to Headlines as more information becomes available.

‘We all feel fortunate’

GME team members are constantly looking to the future, staying on top of changes to health care, technology, regulations and medical education.

“We make sure that all of our programming is cutting-edge, allowing us to continue attracting some of the most impressive learners in the U.S.,” Biermann said. “We know that we can’t afford to fall behind in anything we do.”

To team members, that challenge is not seen as pressure, but as an opportunity.

“We have the unique capability of influencing what medicine will be like in the future,” Biermann said. “We all feel fortunate to play that role at Michigan Medicine.”

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