My experience makes all the difference to you.

Fourteen years of on-the-job training.

From manuscript preparation to editorial assistance.

Not long ago at a university not far away, I worked in the academic offices of The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine, University of Vermont.

I started in a small department that focused on, among other things, clinical trials. During that time, I prepared many manuscripts for a renowned hepatologist. My most memorable was a review article on Autoimmune Hepatitis. N Engl J Med 2006; 354:54-66 [PMID: 16394302].

The published article contained 4,000 words, 1 figure, 4 tables, and 100 references. It was not only a work of art but a testament to the revision process.

Moreover, I was thrilled to have been acknowledged for Editorial Assistance.”

I boasted to my husband, “My name was in New England Journal of Medicine. Beat that!”

He replied, “I can’t.

The process is its reward.

~ Amelia Earhart on tenacity

Test, assess, refine, and reiterate.

User-centric forms collect better data.

Over time, I became the coordinator of a few fellowships and one residency program. Each program adhered to the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).  

ACGME created speciality-specific milestones to measure what they decreed the six core competencies — patient care, medical knowledge, professionalism, and interpersonal and communication skills, among others.

The faculty assessed each trainee, at various intervals, throughout their training, to merit unsupervised practice. The program director would then report the aggregate data to the ACGME.

Evaluations were due within a 10-day window. Late submissions reflected negatively on our program.

The first iteration of several programs’ milestones was cumbersome. And, unfortunately, ours was among them.

To complete their assessments, the faculty scrolled through several screens of dense criteria that funneled to nine radio buttons, and one text box. No wonder they were resistant! So, I refined the forms.

The result?

The refined user-centric forms enabled us to collect an increased amount of timely data. This reflected well on our program.


Life is for service.

~ Fred Rogers

To get busy people to open and respond to my emails, I experimented with tone and length, always testing, assessing, refining, and reiterating.

I recall one physician teasing, “TEN words! I am not reading more than TEN words!” 

Exchanging ten-word-emails taught me to distill my writing to what is essential.  

As a UVM webmaster, I maintained my division’s website. I also wrote instructions/directions, and mini-manuals.

Soft Skills

  • Dependable
  • Effective communicator
  • Loves to learn
  • Positive attitude
  • Self-motivated
  • Strong work ethic

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Let’s collaborate.

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