(The following is not an official Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors message.  It is the musings of one person.)

I joined the staff of the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors in June of 2016.  Full disclosure: I knew NOTHING about your world. 

I learned more and more as the days turned into weeks.  The thought that kept coming to mind was “holy cow!” 

  • “Holy cow!  A family medicine residency program director is in charge of educating individuals in one of the most wide ranging fields of medical knowledge.”
  • “Holy cow! A family medicine residency program director has a ton of rules, guidelines, expectations, procedures, documentations, rubrics, FAQs, and NPSs*to deal with.  Because they have ACGME, RC-FM, ABFM, CMS, CCC, AOA, ERAS, NRMP,  WebADS, RPI, FREIDA, PGY1-2-3s, MOC, GMEC, ACOFP, IRIS, SOAP, PEC, AAFP, HR, CLER, RTM, SAMs, ALSO, PDW, RPS, NIPDD, and the occasional DTCIA** in their lives.” 
    (*nit-picky stuff)  (** desire to chuck it all)
  • “Holy cow! A family medicine residency program director is part of the administration for a hospital, or a clinic, or a college, or a university, or all of the above.”
  • “Holy cow!  A family medicine residency program director is a practicing physician keeping up with all the latest information pertaining to the advances and changes in the medical arts.”
  • “Holy cow! A family medicine residency program director is a practicing physician keeping up with all the business of being a practicing physician, such as MACRA and CPC+ and…oh, heck…I don’t have the energy to type another abstract alphabet soup of acronyms, you know what goes here.”
  • “Holy cow! A family medicine residency program director still has to deal with sick people.”

Now, let’s take a look at the world many of you may not know, the world of the AFMRD staff. 

Through an agreement with the American Academy of Family Physicians AFMRD has 2.25 full time employees.  No, the .25 employee is not the result of a horrible elevator door accident.  It means there is not a single person who dedicates all day every day to the AFMRD.  Six individuals attend to the needs of AFMRD. 

Let’s meet them.


Katy Jaksa’s main job with the Academy is planning and executing the entire Residency Education Symposium made up of two huge meetings, the Program Director’s Workshop (home to many AFMRD activities) and Residency Program Solutions.  For those of you who have not met her she is the person moving through the maelstrom of activity with a strangely serene look on her face because she knows if something actually goes off kilter she can get the kilter properly adjusted.  She makes sure AFMRD’s annual meeting has everything in place and the proper people in the proper spots. 

Susan Quigg has a few different roles with the Academy.  She supports Ms. Jaksa with the Residency Education Symposium and is the keeper of all records, schedules, documents, and personnel surrounding the Curriculum Guidelines with the Commission on Education.  Her organizational skills are legend in the Medical Education division.  You know how some people speak a second language like a native?  Well, Ms. Quigg speaks Spreadsheet like she was born in Excelandia. 

Sam Pener is to many members the face and voice of the AFMRD staff.  He is everyone’s favorite conversation buddy.  Nobody can talk sports, restaurants, and life in general like Sam.  He is also the walking, talking database of membership.  Mention a program director’s name and Sam can tell you which program s/he works at and if they have ever let their membership lapse.  Sam is also the overseer, facilitator, planner, hotel wrangler, and chooser of the menus for the NIPDD fellowship and the Academy’s Chief Resident Leadership Development Program.
Lynn Pickerel is the communications specialist for the AFMRD.  This covers a multitude of activities: website content creation, newsletter writing, coordinator of the Toolbox content and those members charged with overseeing the Toolbox content, fighting the website when it doesn’t do what we tell it to do, writing all messages, going from cubicle to cubicle asking people how they are doing and making them feel valued, Prez Releases, agendas, editing the Annals articles submitted by AFMRD board members, reminding AFMRD board members there is a word count limit to the Annals articles, plus other stuff we don’t even realize she is doing but would freak out if it didn’t happen. 
Vickie Greenwood is the Executive Director.  When talking about what Ms. Greenwood  the phrase “holy cow” again seems apropos.  There are a lot of association executive directors who work hard and are efficient keepers of the mission and vision.  Ms. Greenwood clearly falls in this category.  The “holy cow” parts are the above and beyond that she does.  It is difficult to imagine an executive director who is as personally invested in the world she serves.  Her frequent flyer miles would make a Secretary of State jealous.  She eats, sleeps, and lives the world of family medicine residencies.  She also eats her meals of yogurt and grapes and the occasional serving of Twizzlers at her desk because she works longer hours than a PTSD counselor at the DNC. 
I am the Chief Administrative Officer for the AFMRD. I am writing this essay so it would not be right for me to talk about all the amazing things I do for the organization.  Let’s just leave it at:  invaluable and really ought to get a raise. 
The views and commentaries expressed on these pages are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by AFMRD.