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Program director

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In service industries, such as education, a program manager or program director researches, plans, develops and implements one or more of the firm's professional services. For example, in education, a program director is responsible for developing and maintaining degree-granting programs and/or other educational services.

In program management, the Program Director is a senior manager responsible for the overall success of the program.[1]

A program director's role in a company that sells professional services is similar to a product manager's role in a company that sells tangible goods.

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  • ✪ Program Directors Insights
  • ✪ Why USMLE Step 3 is Important for a Program Director
  • ✪ Masters Certificate in Project Management: Program Director Overview

Transcription

yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah welcome to Kaplan's program director insights becoming a top residency applicant my name is dr. Christopher Cimino i am the chief medical officer and vice president of kaplan test prep medical my guest today is dr. Shanti hockessin she's the program director for family medicine medicine residency at Phelps hospital in Sleepy Hollow new york welcome to our program thank you for having me so you're the other side of the equation for a lot of these applicants they're the they're the people are trying to get into your program and you're the person who's deciding who gets interviews who gets in who doesn't i want to ask you a little bit about your experience from your perspective September 15th arrives eres releases its applications what do you do well they're very excited to see who was decided to apply to our program and so we start downloading downloading the applications immediately and start reviewing them to see who they are and what's going to happen next so the stroke of midnight or nine in the morning or um as soon as business open little bit back but they're all there and talk to me about the process you must get hundreds to thousands of applications that way too many to look at individually how do you filter through all of that so usually we start by looking at at the most recent graduates and then we have a few criteria that we filter by so we like to look at our applicants who have passed your exams on the first attempt yeah and then we start going through them we divvy them up by alphabet and then all the faculty take a little piece of the pie and then we start looking through the applications one at a time mm you is the magic score cut off no actually in our program we just take make sure everybody's pass the exams but in some programs i do have a certain set score that they go by you when you say in some programs you mean and other residency program but there's there's things like ENT dermatology they probably have a cut-off yeah and at the end of the process when when do you stop looking at applications in other words that September 33 you done have you found everyone you need you know it's very hard to stop looking because you never know for not a great applicant is going to submit their application but unfortunately we only have so many interview slots yeah and so we tend to stop looking once we filled all of our interview positions ok how many spots residency spots do you have we only have six what we're trying to expand to eat so we may have eight ok wish you luck with that thank you and for those six spots how many interview spots to use we generally interview about a hundred people we do something a little bit differently we offer skype interviews first and so we offer about a hundred of those and then if and if people pass that first interview then they come in for a live interview and we average about 70 to 75 live interviews and what's your interviewing season like when do you start Wendy when we started a around mid-october and we tend to run through december we sometimes squeeze in another interview in January but we like to finish it up before the holiday season starts to make sense i know some programs they'll have a set number of interviews and the first weekend that they have applications they send that letter they have a hundred spots they send out 200 invites and the first hundred people they fill all their interviews box and then they're done with filling interview spots is is that how does that pair with your approach we we do film as we get the right candidate but as I said we do have the skypes skype process so that helps that a little bit and we can spread it out a little bit and then unfortunately we only have so many people to to do the work and so as we start going through the applications we fill those spots and then and then there's no more and it's as it said for us to when we can look at any more great applicants we know there's a lot of wonderful candidates what about the issue of sort of the overbooking over inviting that some programs have done what you're thinking about that you know everybody has their way of doing things and certainly some programs may have some cancellations and so that can help having people lined up for those cancellations we don't practice that way we really offer the spots that we have so that we're not giving anybody mixed messages single out the the piece of the application that was the most important for getting an interview woman being for getting selected for an interview it is the academic record so taking your step one and step two passing on the first attempt and then also having a great week on a transcript from medical school and helps talk to me about international medical graduates both US citizens and non-us citizens manager program look at them for international graduates the most important thing is the level of experience they have in the United States because it's very difficult residency is difficult to begin with so have to to have to come into residency and then to train in the u.s. system is a burden that's great for the not just the program but also for the applicant so that is a big factor for international graduate and graduate applicants so that being said it's generally the International graduates who are US citizens who have gone to school in the Caribbean for example tend to have a leg up on our on our international graduates from from other countries and just bit early for that reason and what is your thoughts about observer ships as opposed to clerkships I think that any experience it's great experience however observer ships usually imply that there are no there's no hands on experience and that's really important when it comes to showing a program director that you have learned something or acquired some new talent so you said step 1 so you said exam first path you said first attempt passage was an important first criterion that first week do you look at applicants who have had multiple attempts only if we need to and it's getting more and more competitive every year so in the last year we then we didn't have a chance to go to that level because we had plenty of applicants in that first here tell me about step three step three is a great thing to have any application if it's been passed having not passed step 3 doesn't add anything to the application and may even subtract from MH and what if someone's missing a score they haven't taken step one ck step one more step two CS and so forth right so my advice to students is usually to go ahead and apply because to not be in the in the pool when when people are starting to review applications can be a real handicap however when when you're in a really competitive pool like that it's best to have everything in right from the get-go and of all the step exam which one's the most important to you step 1 into are equally important yeah okay what about someone who's applying to multiple specialties not just family medicine but other more competitive specialties right so we actually try to decipher that from the application because honestly any program would prefer to have applicants who want to do the specialty that that program is right and that being said we understand that applicants need to widen their options and make sure that they get a spot but by far we prefer that our applicants love family medicine and want to do family medicine makes it a lot easier to to be a resident when you do what you love what are some of the clues that you look for in the application we look for applicants who have had a family medicine experience and so they can speak to that and then we know that they've been in that situation and we know that they love it we look for references from a family physician we look for comments from their family medicine rotation things like that about research how does that play out in the application research doesn't weigh heavily in the application certainly having a broad experience and having exposure to research is terrific but hands on clinical experience and doing well and other things volunteering in a clinical setting are much more valuable compared to research and I guess the same goes for publications as well same yes let's talk about the personal statement can you without without reaching any confidentiality what's the strangest personal statement you remember reading some of the stranger ones are when people just love take these share their very very personal details in in quite a deep level of detail and that can be a little bit alarming sometimes so yes that that's usually it otherwise personal statements are really a reflection of who the person is yeah so it you know so a personal statement that's too personal not helpful is what you say well you know you don't want to divulge too much of your personal struggles and and things like that when you haven't even met anybody have you do you remember reading any personal statements where let's say someone had a an obvious failure they failed step 1 or something like that and they spoke to that in their personal statement and came across in a positive way absolutely i highly recommend that I think that taking responsibility for things that haven't gone well in your personal statement or in your application in general can really help that the person who's just reviewing the paperwork and get a really good impression of who you are and why that might have happened and in terms of if you had to describe the perfect personal statement to be like it's it's um it's a statement that reflects the individual I think when a person speaks from who they are and what they care about and then it will come out just right and it you know there's not a particular topic that's best it's just whatever's right for that person what has them emulate who they are and how they feel about their specialty of choice i think it's always nice to speak to the specialty and how it connects to to who you are and I think it always turns out just right definitely shorter is better than long yeah okay what about letters of recommendation how do they play in the application process you know I wish I could rely on the letters as much as I'd like to I do read them all and we have every interviewer read all of the letters of recommendation so they are very important frequently what we see is that the letters can be sort of standardized so we are not sure if this person is just written several letters that sound the same for many people we like the letters when there when they have some detail about that particular that person's particular interaction with the applicant that helps tremendously and if they speak to how the applicant will perform in residency what would you do let's say you have a letter that does speak personally to that particular applicant but it uses the wrong name it you know it's clearly bit where was the wrong pronouns or something so clearly they've edited a previous letter and yet they've also talking about that happened how do you deal with that usually will oversee things like that i read a lot of letters then I you know I i will rewrite a letter as well but it's just the attention to detail sometimes positions are very busy when they're writing letters so we have a lot of understanding for those kind of oversight where's with the generic letter imagine then there's no way to know did it is an oversight there was a completely wrong letter something that's not useful exactly what about the status of the position writing the letter there whether let's start with whether they're a US citizen physician or non-us citizen position how does that play out sure I I think it's more a matter of whether the physician practices in the United States and whether that interaction occurred in a u.s. medical system because that allows us to know that that person actually saw this person engaged in a u.s. system that's more important than whether or not what their ethnicity or citizenship is for that particular physician letters from for example if a student has done a medical school in another country and the physicians in the medical school write the letter they don't quite help us know how well this applicant will thrive in our setting and what about the rank of the physician so what if you get a letter from a resident or fellow how those compare you know that would be that's interesting i've never received a letter from a resident I think that would be very interesting to to get i think i would trust that opinion not to say that everybody should go ahead and get resident letters but the title doesn't so much that doesn't carry as much weight as the content and the nature of the interaction of the two individuals what would be if if you were giving advice to people who are seeking letters of recommendation what would be some questions you would tell them i would definitely caution against using friends and friends of parents and things like that i think people can pick up on those types of letters i'm especially when that person says I've known this person for all their life and but they can't speak to any clinical interaction that can be a red flag and then that letter just won't carry as much weight in general I would also caution against obtaining letters from nobody in the in your end specialty that you're applying to that is definitely a red flag getting letters from people who are chairs and vice-presidents and things just because of their title doesn't also helped tremendously it's really about their personal interaction with the applicant sometimes it may also not be in the best interest to to look at the applicants cultural background and getting letters from everybody from the same cultural background then you can distinguish whether that those are just friends and family friends or if your parents a position there might be one of their friends you know things like that can get a little bit difficult to interpret and may hurt so you said that the letter that really speaks to their clinical experience is very useful what else would you look for in a strong whether the time that the person is known the applicant the the level of interaction between the two for example if I'm the course supervisor but I never spend any time doing rounds or are being in the clinic with the applicant i'm going to have a hard time speaking to how they are with the patients also sometimes the write the letter writer can speak to how patients reacted to the applicant that can be very useful as well if the person writing the letter has known the applicant in the greater system so how the energy engage with staff and with residents that can be great certainly when the writer is someone who was in a residency program that that's very valuable then we know they've had experience reading letters and writing letters and seeing students and that helps a lot is there such a thing as a lever that's too old yes absolutely we look for letters that are written in the last year and even if that person hasn't worked with that applicant that they have reconnected and written a new letter otherwise it only speaks to experiences that were held back then and we don't know what's happening in more recent time suppose you had an applicant and have they submitted a series of letters and there's one family medicine letter into orthopedic slippers what would you make I'll make the best of it it's really important that I do have the family medicine letter and sometimes somebody has a great experience in orthopedics and you have connections there and so i'll take that with a grain of salt let's talk about the interviews now so you've sent out your invites you've gotten people who have agreed to come and you you said you do skype interviews do you do also in-person interviews absolutely so let's talk about the Skype interviews first sure for a single applicant how many skype interviews what they do just one just one and does that help decide whether they move on to it in person too real absolutely and what is the interviewer looking for in the skype interview well by that time we've already reviewed the application so we we have a sense of their academic performance and so although we focus a little bit on on the academic skills of the applicant we spend most of the time looking at the interpersonal interactions and the person's knowledge of our program and their engagement with us as we interview the month skype the whole interview last 20 minutes how to judge their knowledge of your program well based on the questions that they asked are they informed questions are they generally generic questions that they may ask of any program and so now you've screened out the people who just applied and didn't look up your program and they have some believe it communicate and you've invited them for the in-person interview when does the interview process really start you mean with the person or in for the person from the person's point of view well interview that the interview process has begun as soon as we do the skype process so now any communication that happens between the applicant and the program is part of the interview process I always caution my applicants and my advisees that it's really important how you treat the residency coordinator anybody who's with the programmer to hide spittle if it's not a good interaction we usually don't rank the application and then the process proceeds with coming in for that live interview meeting with three different people usually it's to faculty and a resident get a tour of the hospital to have the clinic and then we wrap it up and I want to expand on that a little more so they get a tour yes who's giving the tour and does that person feedback information to the process absolutely everybody is engaged in the interview process we give a lot of thought to how we structure our day and anybody that gives us feedback it's very very important for us because we want this person to thrive in our setting and so we want them to be able to feel comfortable and to engage positively with our staff with our residents with our faculty and so if anybody has an alarming encounter and gives us that feedback we will usually not rank that applicant so you mentioned that when the applicant asks good questions about your program informed questions that that's good what are other things that you would consider good questions I think it's always good to ask about the financial security of the institution and the the future vision of the program director for the program so that you know that the program's heading in the right direction and in a direction that's aligned with the applicants feature it's always great to the to have a conversation about the relationship between residents themselves and residents and faculty what about bad questions the the bad questions are the can questions you know things that are already on my website when people ask me things that are very clear on the website i get a little bit disappointed and I and may not be sewing intrigued by the application what about a reply an applicant who asks about salary and vacation that's your reaction to that it's usually not a question of appropriate for program director that information is to be found on the website and most of our applicants say that those questions for our residents and usually it's one-on-one with a resident there are also several opportunities to engage with residents after the interview and so some of those questions maybe better ask the leader in a different context so we've talked about what the applicant asks what do you ask the average we've actually developed behavioral interview questions which I unfortunately can't share with you because then I would have to create a whole new set of questions but we we have very simple questions they're not meant to trick an applicant they really meant to see and get a feel for different aspects of the individual and get a sense of if they're the right fit for the program doing I know you don't want to share with the questions for obvious reasons but let me see if I can propose some potential behavioral questions assume that gets a flavor for what you're talking about so would it be you say to the applicant suppose you found yourself in the following situation what would you do you're on your way to the lab to deliver some blood that you drew and you see a patient in the hall who looks confused and the end then you say well what do you what would you do that's perfect question maybe I should we should still have hope that's great except you can't use that one because i don't know her but but its base and it's not as you said it's not a trick question it's not like there's a secret answer there might be many possible correct answers and you want to see how they deal with the situation absolutely ok so what tips would you give someone who's about to go to their first interview i would say be yourself first and foremost this is the place where you're going to spend three years you're going to be very deeply interacted with every interacting deeply with everybody so it's very learn to find a place that fits and then also it's tremendously important to research the program to look at the website to see what kind of people go to this program what what is the program's mission and also to think about why why why am i choosing the specialty right so that way you can speak to the things that you care about and you know in a way that that is relatable and a way that is clear to all the people that you'll be meeting that day it's also really great to practice a little bit to meet with some people who can roleplay with you or maybe even practice in the mirror and do a little practicing so that you feel more comfortable in the interview session because it's daunting no matter who you are no matter where it is have you ever interviewed an applicant who seemed over-rehearsed know and I don't think so i've met a lot of applicants are very nervous and who are little shell-shocked but not over-rehearsed i think i think if the rehearsal is just being natural and answering questions then I don't think you could ever be over ears certainly you can memorize answers to questions and that can that can be put off and have you ever gotten a sense that you're interviewing someone who's interviewed at 25 other programs this is their last interview I believe that we get applicants who have interviewed that many programs sometimes and the only time that we have a sense of that is when the persons not engage with us when you know they come late they want to leave early they're not as engaged when they're having lunch with the residents things like that will will be an alarming thing for us the info that you get from the interview how does that feet into your ranking of cabinets it's the most important aspect in terms of our ranking process we do use an American system where we assign values to different things such as our questions and then we rank order the everybody based on the numerical total that they achieve but then based on the interview we may go ahead and tweak the list just a little bit because our personal interactions are really the most valuable so I want to clarify you saying that all the stuff in the application once someone's come to the interview that that other stuff is lettin almost unimportant for the reckless yes actually because by that time by the time people have interviewed we've already vetted their academic standing and so usually everybody has come for an interview is academically capable of being a great resident we do a little bit more probing into that area but primarily the rest is interpersonal and so yes once they've made it to the interview everything else is not so important than any other final comments about the interviews I think it's an exciting time it's a very inspiring for programs and the program director to be in this process we are just as nervous as the applicants may be a little as much because we get to do it every year but we are also trying to be on our best behavior so it's really kind of like a dating game and so hopefully that would help our applicants be a little bit less nervous as they start the process is there anything I forgot to ask you I don't think that you've been very thorough thank you is fun thank you for joining us for program director insights becoming a top residency applicants I hope you learned something and you'll join us again in the future

Broadcasting

In radio or television, a program director or director of programming is the person who develops or selects some or all of the content that will be broadcast. A program director's selections are based upon expertise in the media as well as knowledge of the target demographic. Typically, a program director decides what radio program or TV program will be broadcast and when.

Non-profits

In the context of non-profit organizations, a program director is responsible for managing one or more of the organization's programs or services in a role similar to that of a chief operating officer.

References

  1. ^ Filicetti, John (August 20, 2007). "PMO and Project Management Dictionary". PM Hut. Retrieved 21 November 2009.


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