Your Conference Experience: Q and A with Juanita Braxton, PhD

Dr. Juanita Braxton (center) and colleagues from the Association of Radiation Oncology Program Coordinators (AROPC) connecting at the 2018 ACGME Annual Educational Conference

Juanita Braxton, PhD is the Administrative Manager for Surgical Education at University of California Davis Health in Sacramento, California. She is also a charter member of the ACGME’s Coordinator Advisory Group, which was formed in 2016 to serve as a consultative body to the ACGME administration concerning coordinator, GME, learning environment, and accreditation matters. Dr. Braxton presented PC005, Inspiring Minds – Cultivating Success, at the Coordinator Forum during the pre-conferences to the Annual Educational Conference Thursday, March 1. We spoke with Dr. Braxton after the conference to learn more about her experience.

Q: How long have you been attending the ACGME Annual Educational Conference?

A: I’ve been involved with the ACGME and attending the conference for about 10 years.

Q: Talk a little about the Coordinator Forum – why is it important to you to participate? What do you enjoy about it?

A: I participated because it’s a vital and valuable tool to interact with other graduate medical education professionals at varying levels to share information and to discuss relevant topics that pertain to just this group. I like that it’s for us – by us!

Q: What do you most like about presenting?

I really enjoy the sharing of information, and inspiring others to see that they are not alone and that there are options.

Q: What’s the hardest part?

A: The hardest part is having a topic broad and general enough to reach a large audience, but specific enough to help those who need [help and information] most.

Q: What’s the best/most rewarding part?

A: It is rewarding to know that you have given someone a positive message with accurate information they can think about and best use to their advantage, whatever their needs may be.

Q: What do you most look forward to at the conference?

A: Relevant presentations, interactive sessions, and networking – seeing old and making new connections.

Q: What’s an average day like for you at the conference?

A: An average day is a full day of presentations. I look specifically for surgical specialty information in particular.

Q: What do you hope attendees took away from your presentations?

A: I hope GME coordinators and administrators took away the message that graduate medical education professionals AT EVERY LEVEL play a vital role keeping training programs running smoothly, but that they must look out for their own well-being. GME coordinator/administrator well-being is just as important as physician well-being because these individuals are on the front lines, and are usually the first person to realize a resident or fellow or program may be in trouble. Burnout and stress are at all-time high levels with the turnover in programs and program directors. Therefore, GME coordinators and administrators should reward themselves, congratulate themselves, and honor themselves, not only for major milestones achieved, but also by acknowledging the small things – the day-to-day things that keep our programs running from year to year, month to month, and day to day.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add about your experience?

A: It was a particularly great experience to serve as a plenary speaker at the Annual Educational Conference, and I thank the ACGME for the opportunity.