The Robert Larner, MD College of Medicine at University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

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 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].

Reading through the first draft gave me cause for concern. I expected something stronger from as prolific an author as Dr. K. Several revisions later they accept it. The published article had 4,000 words, one figure, four tables, and 100 references. It was not only a work of art but also a testament to the revision process.

The process is its reward. ~ Amelia Earhart on tenacity

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.”

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 program-specific milestones to measure what they decreed the six core competencies. The faculty would assess each trainee, at monthly intervals, to merit unsupervised practice. They had a 10-day window in which to submit their assessments. The program director would then use aggregate data for ACGME bi-annual and annual reports.

When I discovered that some of the faculty submitted some of forms beyond the 10-day window, I took action.  

The first iteration of some program’s ACGME milestones was cumbersome. And, unfortunately, ours was one. In our program assessing meant having to scroll through several screens of criteria that funneled down to nine radio buttons and one text box. This caused resistance. I knew that refining the form would afford more, timely data, so I did.

The result?

The refined user-centric version offered the faculty less resistance, thus enabling us to collect an increased amount of timely data.


Life is for service. ~ Fred Rogers

To get attention and click-throughs, I experimented with tone and length.  I recall one physician teasing, “TEN words! I am not reading more than TEN words!” Through testing, assessing, refining, and reiterating, I learned to designed short, polite emails.

As a UVM webmaster, I maintained my division’s website. I also wrote instructions/directions, meeting minutes, 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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