Elevate Team Award

May 17, 2024

GME Self-Study Team takes charge for accreditation site visit

“The support of VUMC’s GME programs and the development of its future clinicians and leaders allows for optimal patient care and the creation of a learning environment that supports our patients and learners of all stages…”

The GME Self Study Team, including Shayan Rakhit, MD, resident physician in General Surgery; Amanda Mathews, MD, resident physician in Emergency Medicine; and Austin Tipold, MD, resident physician in Emergency Medicine, won the May 2024 Elevate Team Award. Photo by Erin O. Smith.

Three resident physicians are the recipients of the Elevate Team award, which was announced at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center May Leadership Assembly.

Emergency medicine residents Austin Tipold, MD, and Amanda Mathews, MD, and surgery resident Shayan Rakhit, MD, led teams of program directors, hospital executives, finance team members, program administrators and others through a three-month, in-depth self-study of VUMC’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) office, which oversees the training of physicians in training.

“We took on this project to assist the Vanderbilt GME office in preparing for the institutional site visit from ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education),” Mathews said. “Having house staff lead this project allowed us to assess our compliance with a set of fresh eyes and find areas where we could improve as an organization. The work of the entire team resulted in the continued accreditation of Vanderbilt GME and also the creation of new best practices that will benefit all house staff and the institution moving forward.”

The ACGME’s accreditation model and processes ensure and improve the quality of graduate medical education in the United States. This in turn assures the public that today’s residents and fellows are learning and training in a setting that is preparing them to deliver safe, high-quality medical care today and in their future practice.

With a focus on the office’s adherence to all of the ACGME Sponsoring Institution Requirements, the team asked difficult questions and proposed changes ranging from restructuring house staff town halls, to recommending different approaches, to how committees are structured and function, to changing policies and wording of contracts to make sure the office is fully implementing all requirements appropriately and in the best practice possible.

“Each of the three residents came prepared to weekly meetings, had reviewed materials, and presented challenges to current practice by articulating these in respectful and constructive ways. They made us better and pushed us by communicating effectively, conducting themselves professionally, and exhibiting a sense of ownership and commitment to their colleagues,”said Kyla Terhune, MD, MBA, FACS, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, Vice President for Educational Affairs and a nominator for the Elevate Team Award. “And ultimately, the site visit results were excellent too.”

“This work primarily impacts the three pillars of people, service and quality,” Terhune wrote in the nomination, adding that “the support of VUMC’s GME programs and the development of its future clinicians and leaders allows for optimal patient care and the creation of a learning environment that supports our patients and learners of all stages, as medicine itself is a discipline of lifelong learning.”

“We are grateful for this award because it demonstrates recognition that an academic medical center is unable to function without its house staff and residents providing support at all levels of its mission,” said Rakhit.

“We are excited and appreciative of this award because this effort was an excellent display of incredible teamwork by everyone involved. We felt empowered to take on this leadership role and work together to successfully achieve a shared institutional goal,” Tipold said.

Watch the Leadership Assembly video about the residents’ Elevate Team Award.

If you are a VUMC employee, you can nominate a colleague for an Elevate Credo Award, Five Pillar Leader Award, or Team Award. Visit the Elevate website to fill out a nomination form. Employees demonstrate credo behaviors when: they make those they serve the highest priority; respect privacy and confidentiality; communicate effectively; conduct themselves professionally; have a sense of ownership; and are committed to their colleagues. Elevate award nominations are accepted year-round. If a nomination is received after the cut off for an award selection period, the nomination will be considered for the next period. VUMC VOICE will post stories on each of the award winners in the weeks following their announcement.