Honoring Excellence: Q and A with Jennifer Rodgers, MS, C-TAGME

February 25, 2022
2022 GME Institutional Coordinator Excellence Awardee Jennifer Rodgers, MS, C-TAGME

This interview is one in a series of interviews with recipients of the 2022 ACGME Awards. The awardees join an outstanding group of previous honorees whose work and contributions to graduate medical education (GME) represent the best in the field. They will be honored at the ACGME Annual Educational Conference, taking place virtually March 30-April 1, 2022. 

2022 GME Institutional Coordinator Excellence Awardee Jennifer Rodgers works as the director of graduate medical education and institutional coordinator at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine 

ACGME: How did you become involved in academic medicine? 

Jennifer Rodgers: Prior to academic medicine, I worked in the field of supporting people with developmental disabilities for fifteen years.  My oldest daughter was born with a syndrome that required relationships with providers in various medical specialties, and the majority of her physicians were providers at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIUSOM).  We truly valued the expertise and support we received from her physicians and their staff, and I felt that joining SIUSOM’s workforce would be a valuable and rewarding change of career. I had the opportunity to join the GME Office as the Institutional Coordinator in 2010, and have been here since! 

ACGME: What does this award mean to you? 

Rodgers: Receiving this national recognition is humbling and so exciting. I am honored to be recognized and am grateful to those who took the time to consider nominating me and the selection committee. 

ACGME: What is the most rewarding part of being a coordinator? 

Rodgers: The relationships you develop with the physicians and staff that you work with is the most rewarding, however receiving continued accreditation with no citations is also at the top of that list! 

ACGME: What is the most challenging part of being a coordinator? 

Rodgers: I find the most challenging part to be sorting through and tracking the various funding sources for our positions.  

ACGME: What advice do you have to brand-new coordinators who are just starting their careers? 

Rodgers: I feel the best advice for incoming GME coordinators is to be patient and kind to yourself and those around you. It takes at least two years to really grasp all of your job duties and understand the high level of expectations and requirements.  Try to let any frustrations from the day go, and greet the next day with a smile and an open mind. This career is rewarding and worth the time and effort it takes to succeed. 

Learn more about the ACGME’s GME Institutional Coordinator Excellence Award and nominate a deserving institutional coordinator for the 2023 Award – nominations are due by April 6, 2022.