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 Awardee Linda Ortiz Morrison, CHCP, is the senior director, academic affairs, and institutional coordinator at Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center.
ACGME: How did you become involved in academic medicine?
Linda Ortiz Morrison: In 1997, I was chosen as the Graduate Medical Education Manager at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. At the time, I had little experience in graduate medical education (GME), but had a strong background in human resources and administration. Over the next 18 years, I was fortunate to work with the best mentors, to continue my education along the way, and to grow both personally and professionally. In 2015, I transitioned from the Corporate Director of GME at MedStar Health to join Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center (LHAAMC) in this remarkable journey as a new teaching hospital. Since that time, we have started three residency programs, successfully recruited accomplished and diverse program directors, faculty and residents, established significant academic partnerships with local universities, increased access to our community with new outpatient clinics, and so much more. This has been and continues to be the highlight of my career.
ACGME: What does this award mean to you?
Ortiz Morrison: This award is truly special because I was nominated by my colleagues and our residents. It is an honor and privilege to be recognized by them and by the ACGME after 25+ years in the field. I’m so grateful to the amazing mentors and lifetime friends that I have made throughout my career in GME, and this award is a culmination of these experiences.
ACGME: What is the most rewarding part of being a coordinator?
Ortiz Morrison: As the institutional coordinator at LHAAMC, I’ve been very fortunate to work closely with an exceptional team including our DIO, program directors, and program coordinators to establish the groundwork for our new residency programs and to achieve institutional and program accreditation. I’ve participated in our recruitment activities, formed close, collaborative relationships with our residents, and celebrated our very first graduation ceremony. I honestly can’t explain how proud I am of our team and our accomplishments over the past seven years.
ACGME: What is the most challenging part of being a coordinator?
Ortiz Morrison: The most challenging part of being an institutional coordinator is managing the well-being of the team. The world of GME is dynamic and ever-evolving. It can be stressful on our faculty, the administrative team, and of course, the residents. I believe that wellness has to be engrained into daily practice, and this can be a stressful environment – especially during a pandemic. We work every day to maintain a balance, and to celebrate important victories and events along the way.
ACGME: What advice do you have to brand-new coordinators who are just starting their careers?
Ortiz Morrison: My advice to brand new coordinators is to give yourself a year to learn the full cycle of GME. While many of our administrative functions are cyclical, there are many twists and turns along the way. Be flexible, be creative, and welcome change. Get to know your team, and collaborate with important stakeholders to build those enduring relationships that may last you a lifetime.
ACGME: Is there anything else you would like to add I haven’t asked about?
Ortiz Morrison: Just a big THANK YOU to those who nominated me for this award. It is something that I will always cherish.
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.