What is your job title and how long have you been with the UI?
I was recently promoted to assistant dean of educational affairs in the College of Medicine. I started at the UI in February 1993 as coordinator of instructional development in the department of internal medicine, in the College of Medicine.
What is your job?
I work with the medical students when they are ready to see patients. I have offices at both Carle and Covenant hospitals and I also travel to the VA [Veterans Affairs hospital] in Danville. I work with the attending physicians -- who are the teachers and with the staff and the residents, the doctors getting their final training for licensing. I assist all the departments [in the hospitals] to deliver all their educational programs. For instance, when students are ready to start coming into the hospital and see patients, they rotate through very specific departments. It's a training program, not a classroom [although] there is some traditional book-learning and lectures. I deal with the scheduling and with the different institutions, getting the students ready to be guests in those institutions. They have to know the policies and procedures for those institutions. I work with very diverse people.
Your job sounds complicated. Do you have to be extremely well-organized?
I have a great staff. They are supportive and helpful. I have two wonderful secretaries -- they work for me and the staff. The clinical education centers at Carle and Covenant are outstanding at keeping me on track and where I'm supposed to go. I also get a lot of support from the people at the Danville VA hospital. We very much have a team approach around here, so everyone feels that when we have successes, we share in that and are proud.
Does the real world of medicine and training young doctors compare with TV programs about doctors and hospitals?
Well, when the ambulances pull up to the E.R.s here, the drums don't start rolling. They [the residents] work hard and sometimes they don't get a lot of sleep, but are they beaten up by the system? No. In fact, the regulatory agencies are cracking down on how large a load the residents can assume. They make sure we are not abusing the residents. Our programs are pretty careful so that there is no compromise of patient care.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I watch the medical students turn into doctors. They've got their wings and are ready to fly. It's very exciting. Consequently, my job is a lot of fun and very rewarding. From the hospitals, I have this wonderful view of how incredibly good the art of medicine is in our area. I also see physicians as they struggle with difficult cases and how they really do care. They have to deal with things that are really tough, but still have this sense of humanity and cope with the incredible stress they have to go through.