Renewal 2024: A GME Retreat Fostering Compassionate Leadership and Personal Growth

June 6, 2024
L to R: Stephanie Call, MD; Tina C. Foster, MD, MPH, MS; and Richard Shugerman, MD.

Renewal 2024 is a new three-day retreat the ACGME will host in the fall of 2024. It offers a unique approach to professional development for graduate medical education (GME) leaders that transcends conventional methods by focusing on deepening self-understanding and revitalizing personal awareness. Drawing on more than 20 years of widely praised retreats for recipients of the ACGME’s prestigious Courage to Lead, Courage to Teach, Debra L. Dooley Program Coordinator Excellence, and GME Institutional Coordinator Excellence Awards, the retreat is intended to broaden the availability of the acclaimed work of educator Parker J. Palmer and the Parker J. Palmer Center for Courage & Renewal to the entire GME community.

We sat down to discuss Renewal 2024: A GME Retreat Fostering Compassionate Leadership and Personal Growth with three of the key organizers behind this transformative event. Stephanie Call, MD; Tina C. Foster, MD, MPH, MS; and Richard Shugerman, MD will help lead and facilitate the retreat, to be held on September 11-13, 2024, at Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center in Oregon, Ohio.

ACGME: What inspired the creation of Renewal 2024, and what sets it apart from other professional development opportunities in GME?

Dr. Foster: Renewal 2024 was born out of a deep recognition of the need for a different kind of professional development within GME. While traditional approaches certainly have their merits, we wanted to offer something that goes beyond the surface, that delves into the very core of what it means to be a compassionate and effective leader in health care. What sets Renewal 2024 apart is its focus on fostering not just professional growth, but personal growth as well. We believe that by nurturing self-awareness and integrity, we can cultivate leaders who are not only skilled clinicians but also empathetic mentors and advocates for their colleagues and patients.

ACGME: Can you walk us through what participants can expect during the retreat?

Dr. Call: Well to start, many attendees of the ACGME’s original Awards retreat say the event has been truly transformative for them. We’re hoping Renewal 2024 participants walk away with the same feeling. Over the course of three days, participants will engage in a series of large- and small-group sessions designed to spark reflection, dialogue, and growth. We’ll draw upon a diverse range of resources, from classic teachings to poetry to personal stories, all with the aim of deepening our understanding of ourselves and our roles within GME. Through guided exercises and discussions, participants will explore topics such as listening, living, and leading with integrity, as well as navigating the unique challenges of health care with resilience and renewed energy.

ACGME: Who would you say is the ideal attendee for Renewal 2024?

Dr. Shugerman: Renewal 2024 is open to all involved in GME who are looking to deepen their understanding of themselves and their practice. Whether you’re a seasoned [designated institutional official] DIO, a program director, a new attending physician, or a coordinator—if you’re excited about fostering compassionate leadership and personal growth within GME, then this retreat is for you.

ACGME: We understand that Renewal 2024 is based on the acclaimed work of educator Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal. How do these influences shape the content and structure of the retreat?

Dr. Foster: Parker J. Palmer’s work, particularly his emphasis on the intersection of personal and professional identity, serves as the foundation for Renewal 2024. We draw upon his insights and practices to create a safe and supportive space where attendees can explore essential questions about their work, their lives, and their impact on their organizations. By engaging with Palmer’s teachings, we hope to empower participants to lead with authenticity, courage, and compassion.

ACGME: That sounds incredibly enriching. Is there anything else you’d like to share about Renewal 2024 that we haven’t already covered?

Dr. Call: Just that this team has led similar retreats for the ACGME for more than 20 years and some of the most consistent feedback we have received has been “Please make this available to the wider GME community!” We’re incredibly excited to welcome participants to what promises to be a transformative experience. Whether you’re looking to reignite your passion for teaching, enhance your leadership capabilities, or simply connect with a community of like-minded individuals, Renewal 2024 has something to offer. We can’t wait to see you there.

Learn more about Renewal 2024 and register today!