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IUSM Pediatric Coordinators Defining the Future of Pediatric Medical Education

Coordinators at APPD 2022
For over 25 years, the Association of Pediatric Program Directors (APPD) has strived to ensure the health and well-being of all children by leading the advancement of pediatric medical education, developing a sustainable and diverse workforce, cultivating an inclusive learning environment and promoting educational innovation. The APPD Coordinators’ Section works to enhance graduate medical education within each program and promote communication among coordinators, program directors and the APPD membership. Three Indiana University School of Medicine Program Coordinators within the Department of Pediatrics are working toward advancing pediatric education forever.

As Melissa Bales finished her 3-year term as Chair for the Coordinator Executive Committee (CEC), she continues to be a valued APPD leader as she serves on the Council for APPD Leadership Empowerment for Advancing Pediatric Education Specialists (APPD LEAPES). APPD LEAPES is a 9-month advanced, longitudinal and hybrid course that provides outstanding training for administrators aspiring to develop the knowledge and skills needed to become leaders in medical education.

Melissa was invited to join the Council by the other program founders. The Council is comprised of 4 coordinators who have all served in leadership positions. “During your 3rd year, you serve as the Chair of the 3 sessions,” said Melissa. “While leadership roles can be time-consuming, knowing I am helping others succeed and learn makes the stress worth it! I’m happy to talk to anyone interested in being involved at a national level (APPD) or locally – we have an amazing GME Coordinator Advisory Council here that is always looking to grow!”

While Melissa stepped away from Chair for the CEC, another IU Coordinator, Tina Cochran, has assumed the role. “My goal for this year is to lift up and inspire other coordinators to become mentors,” Tina shared. “I would love to see more new coordinators networking and connecting with seasoned coordinators. Sometimes a coordinator might not have another coordinator in the same role at their institution, so it is helpful to have someone to reach out to for advice.”

In September, Tina will lead the coordinators section at the APPD Fall Conference, and she is looking forward to welcoming many new coordinators and assisting them with making some career-long connections.

Additionally, Lyn Terrell, a recent graduate from the APPD LEAPES program, has been serving as s the APPD Coordinator Chair for the Mid-America Region. “Working with the Mid-America region has been an excellent opportunity to work within a smaller community. I’ve enjoyed working with and learning from leadership teams from other institutions over the last 2 years,” Lyn said. “It’s difficult to pick my favorite part of LEAPES because there were so many. I trained with 8 other coordinators from across the country over a 9-month period, 4 talented trainers, and received training from outside speakers in a small group atmosphere. The personal and professional growth I gained from this program has been incredible.”

Melissa, Tina and Lyn all agreed even though undertaking national-level commitments seemed daunting at first, their experiences have been worthwhile and rewarding.

“Running for a national position was a little intimidating and took me out of my comfort zone,” said Tina. “I am so glad I decided to jump in with both feet as it has helped me to grow both personally and professionally in my career. I feel very honored to represent IU School of Medicine and I would encourage anyone thinking about running for a national office to go for it! I would also like to say thank you to the Pediatric Education Department and Jess Darling for all their support!”

These three pediatric coordinators have been working hard to change the future of pediatric medical education, and while their work continues to unfold, the community at IU School of Medicine is thrilled to support their efforts!

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Salem Padgett

Salem supports the Department of Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine as the Communication Generalist. She helps spread the word about the department through storytelling.