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Happy fall! We know this time of year finds our members deep in the heart of interview season, searching for residents that have the values and passion to be an excellent addition to their program. Since we know this is a busy time of year, we thought we’d help take one thing off our members to-do list: finding the perfect Halloween costume.

Costume ideas for program directors

Juggler – Being a program director is truly a balancing act. At any moment, a PD must be prepared to handle multiple issues and ensure that nothing is dropped. (We all know if you drop something you are juggling it will inevitably roll under the couch and nobody wants to fight the dust bunnies to get it back.) 

Naval Officer – Program directors are highly educated, specially trained leaders who lead the fleet through the storms and win the day. (Think Henry Fonda in “Midway” not Bogart in “The Caine Mutiny”.)

A leech –A great reminder about how far medicine has come and a little extra encouragement for programs to continue to seek new and different ways to treat patients. (Don’t ask us how to make this costume but send pictures if you figure it out).

Four-Headed Monster – This costume will accommodate at least a few of the many hats a program director has to wear.  (Maybe you’ll get four pieces of candy at every house.)

Detective – Who knew being a Program Director required solving so many mysteries? From finding “lost” residents to examining patient records and figuring out the best course of action, program directors are always solving the latest problem. (There are so many to choose from.  Sherlock Holmes – Basil Rathbone, Sherlock Holmes – Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes – Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock Holmes – Jonny Lee Miller, or Sherlock Holmes – Nicol Williamson – can you name that movie?)

Fortune Teller – Not only must program directors understand what’s currently best for their residents, they must also prepare them for the future. (Is it an NRMP violation to use Tarot Cards and tea leaves as part of your Match process.)

Hippocrates – A symbol of the best of medicine and a reminder to program directors that their contributions will be remembered by many for years to come. (Who doesn’t love wearing a toga in the late fall?)

Magician – Some of the magic performed by program directors seems impossible. Unlike most magicians, we are thankful for AFMRD members who are willing to share their secrets, even when it seems easier to just wave a magic wand to make the hard parts disappear. (Nothing up my sleeve…and presto! Here is a solution to that pesky ACGME problem.)

Trail boss – Herding residents, faculty, and staff is not an easy task. Program directors are constantly selecting the best route and dealing with any unexpected issues on the way to their desired destination. (Herding cats is the obvious joke.  However, these are cats with scalpels and those little hammer things for checking reflexes.  More dangerous.)

Zombie – Sometimes a program director is just a little too sleep deprived. (TWDMD – The Walking Dead Medical Doctors)

No matter what costume program directors choose, we know it will be creative and innovative – just like our members!