Elections: APDIM



Susan Lane, MD

LaneSusan.jpgLike many of you, I remember my first APDIM meeting. I discovered a community of dedicated, humble, smart, and innovative medical educators. The most amazing part was that when you found yourself sitting near a longstanding, apparently well-known member of APDIM at a workshop or a plenary session, that person was just like you – earnest, inquisitive, and passionate about medical education – and eager to befriend you. APDIM is an organization unlike any other I belong to because we are united in our commitment to providing the best educational environments to help our residents thrive and succeed. Whether we come from community or university programs, large or small programs, rural, urban or suburban programs, our commitments unite us and transcend our unique environments.

I once heard residency training described as the “middle child” of the educational continuum. While birth order traits may be over-generalized, I would venture to say that we program directors share characteristics of “middles” – we’re team players, negotiators, and trailblazers. We play a crucial role in the professional development of our nation’s physicians, shepherding our residents from newly minted physicians to doctors ready for independent practice. What we experience matters, a lot. What we entrust matters, a lot. What we do matters, a lot. What we say matters, a lot.

Long-standing program directors credit their love for their residents and their commitment to the integrity of their training programs as reasons to stay in their roles, often in the face of tremendous external pressures. It is this dedication and commitment that makes me most proud to be a fellow member of APDIM. As president-elect of APDIM, I pledge to represent your concerns, both unique and shared, to our stakeholders and our educational partners so that we can continue to thrive and grow both individually and organizationally as we develop the next generation of outstanding physicians. Like so many of you, APDIM is my professional home. It would be my true honor to serve each of you and this organization.


Emily Stewart, MD, FACP

StewartEmily.jpgI seek the nomination for APDIM Council Treasurer for several reasons. Having served as an APDIM Councilor for the last 3 years, I have enjoyed the commitment and innovation the APDIM council continues to provide to the program director community and the AAIM organization. 

As APDIM Treasurer, I will take the responsibility to serve as a liaison between APDIM Council and the AAIM Finance Committee seriously and communicate the priorities between groups as we work to deliver the mission of AAIM. This key position in the organization has a duty to understand strategic planning and help implement new opportunities. The Treasurer needs to be well versed in all aspects of APDIM and AAIM but most importantly an advocate for the ongoing needs of the APDIM community.

My ongoing work with both APDIM Council and the Medical Student to Resident Interface Committee ensures I am able to be that voice for the community. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to work in a leadership role at the organization who has defined my professional identity.


Debra L. Bynum, MD, MMEL, FACP

BynumDebra.jpgIt is an honor to be considered as a candidate for APDIM council.  As I listened to the annual APDIM survey presentation last year, the words I had written on my own survey were flashed across the screen.

“What I do with residents is important. Even on days when I am frustrated, my advocacy for them as learners and young physicians is important. They need a voice, and I have managed to become a leader with some influence at my institution. So even during my darkest hours, I know what I do is important and essential in their lives – even if they do not always know it.” 

Our role in the lives of resident learners is important. My vision if elected to APDIM council would focus on the continued support of Program Directors, Associate Programs Directors, and core faculty who lead by serving.  What we do is important, and we need work environments that allow us to become confident senior leaders with voices that are heard.  On average, Program Directors remain in their position for 6 years. Over half of our work is administrative. What is needed to nurture our more junior educators? I have found a home within the APDIM community. But how do we continue to reach out and bring others in? How do we advocate for changes that have impact--creating a support network that extends out to our own home programs and lasts past our goodbyes to each other at the end of AAIM week?

As a group, we need to continue to advocate for real changes that impact our residents – policies related to family leave, lactation, diversity, the application process for fellowships, career advising, work compression in addition to work hours, and the ABIM examination. We need to continue to work toward a more diverse and inclusive community – and find ways for programs and leaders who have been successful to continue to share their experiences and best practices so that our voices are better heard.

As a “clinician educator” who felt absolutely underqualified, I earned a master’s degree in Medical Education.  I have served multiple roles for over 23 years – reorganizing and directing the clinical skills course for first and second year students, helping to create a transition course for rising third year students, directing the Sub-Internship program, serving on the School of Medicine education committee during the transition to a new curriculum, directing the Geriatric Medicine fellowship, and serving as our AHEC liaison for Continuing Medical Education before being selected as Program Director six years ago. I understand the transition points -- preclinical to clinical, third year to fourth year medical student, student to intern, intern to resident, resident to fellowship, and transition to life-long learning. I say “yes”, and I always seek to improve upon my own skills.

If selected to serve, I would work collaboratively with all of our AAIM colleagues and would tirelessly support the mission of APDIM in ensuring that our resident learners have a voice.

Alvin S. Calderon, MD, PhD, FACP


I am grateful for this opportunity to serve on APDIM Council. For Program Directors, Associate Program Directors, and Core Faculty, there is no more important group for the pursuit of excellence in graduate medical education for internal medicine. As an APDIM Council Member, I will commit to its central purpose of representing, supporting, empowering, Program Directors for the betterment of our patients, our educators, and our learners. 

My focus will be:

Career Development / Faculty Development. As a Council Member, I will bring my experience in faculty development and career development. I have presented numerous times at Academic Internal Medicine Week as well as during the APDIM Fall Meetings. I am eager to participate in ongoing development of these meetings as valuable opportunities for career development and networking for Program Directors and Associate Program Directors. Specifically, I will focus on the career sustainability for Program Director and faculty development through succession planning.

Physician and Resident Well-Being. Our profession will continue to transform in the coming years, in part due to the appropriate attention we are giving to the well-being of physicians and residents as a necessity for the longevity of all our careers. To this endeavor, I will bring my perspective which includes changing the conditions of our clinical learning environments via quality improvement and systems thinking as well as optimizing individuals through human-centered approaches such as mindsets. As a Council Member I hope to make contributions in this area to increase the sustainability of our careers as Program Directors and faculty. This work must also improve the well-being of our residents for the sake of their future careers as practicing physicians. This will be some of the most important work we will do.

Representation of academic community medical centers. I have spent the entirely of my career in an independent academic medical center. Many of our programs are outside of the structures of university-based medical centers. We are diverse and have features and challenges for faculty that are separate from traditional academic advancement tracks. I look forward to representing our community medical centers.

Having been the Program Director at Virginia Mason for 10 years, a core faculty for 5 years, and a Chief Resident, I have been integrally involved in medical education for the entirely of my clinical career. I have been a participant and contributor to AIMW and Fall APDIM for over 15 years. I consider APDIM to be my professional home. I will bring a broad perspective as a social sciences trained physician, and I will bring expertise in quality improvement applied to patient care and residency training. As an APDIM Council Member, I am ready to serve in any capacity our community needs.

Jill Catalanotti, MD, MPH, FACP

CatalanottiJillian.jpgMy first months as a PD were some of the toughest of my professional life. I had no experience, few local mentors and a limited hand-off. I was considering becoming the shortest-serving PD ever when I attended my first APDIM meeting. It was immediately clear that APDIM would be my new professional home, made up of selfless, dedicated and persistent advocates who wanted to see me, a brand new PD they didn’t even know, succeed. In my 6.5 years as a PD, the importance of APDIM has been demonstrated to me over and over again: from national-level policy work that supports trainees and faculty, to the collection of data to empower advocacy at our own institutions, to skill-building workshops, to the availability of the collective wisdom and advice of hundreds of faculty and staff on the listserv. My prior time on the AAIM Education Committee and current work with the APDIM Survey Committee have reaffirmed for me the universal nature of our challenges and joys. I am a servant-leader who loves process improvement and values practicality. Although my job description makes me personally responsible for the training of 110 residents, I also feel responsibility for the training of IM residents nationwide, and our collective work and mentorship of each other through APDIM allows us to achieve this greater goal. I can’t think of a better way to both give back and advance the mission of APDIM than to join the Council.

Now is a particularly interesting time to serve our organization: we face tension between compliance and financial pressures and our educational missions and ability to find joy in patient care; we must bring emerging technologies to the bedside by developing faculty and training residents; we must work to create a diverse and inclusive workforce; and we must find creative ways to tackle application inflation, ensure meaningful assessment data is available and promote holistic review of applicants. A rising tide lifts all boats, and as a member of APDIM Council, I hope to work with my colleagues to lift up all of our programs and residents.

Stacey Higgins, MD

HigginsStacy.jpgEarly in my APDIM membership, I didn’t see the organization as a professional home, but rather a meeting for program directors to share ideas on novel curricula and learn the newest ACGME regulations. I used the meeting to gather new information and skills to bring back to my home institution, but over time, I learned that I was just scratching the surface of what APDIM could offer.

In 2010, I joined the Program Planning Committee (PPC), and became much more invested and aware of what the organization could offer me personally, as well as its value to the community of those invested in the training of the next generation of physicians. Over my two terms on the PPC, I served as Course Director for several pre-courses, seeking to shape what was offered to the membership to keep them on the cutting edge of residency education. I served on a task force to radically revise the meeting format and look for ways for more members to be involved on site. We diversified the offerings to include shorter didactic seminars, skill acquisition workshops, and added poster judging and an oral presentation session for the highest rated abstracts.  After leaving PPC, I served on both the AAIM Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the APDIM Nominating Committee. I’ve been a mentor at nearly every APDIM meeting since 2013 and have presented workshops with colleagues from my own and other institutions. APDIM has propelled my career forward and I now want to give back to the organization by serving on Council.

If elected to serve, there are a few particular areas that I would like to focus on. Through strengthened partnerships with other national organizations, I’d like to see APDIM’s voice magnified on GME specific issues such as proposed changes to USMLE scoring, improving the diversity pipeline in medicine, and addressing wellness. Utilizing partnerships with our CDIM colleagues, I’d like to see improvements in the transition from medical school to residency, with more transparency during the recruitment process as well as standard competencies for beginning intern year. Finally, utilizing our semi-annual national meetings, I’d like to improve the outreach and support to first time attendees and presenters so that they see the value of APDIM to their professional development and make it their professional home. Whatever the task,

I know now that APDIM is much more than an organization that offers meetings twice annually. They are on the forefront of advocating for medical education, faculty development, and the tools to support Program Directors.  If elected, I will bring my commitment, reliability, and ability to work collaboratively on a team to support current APDIM initiatives and propose new ideas to keep moving the organization forward at the forefront of GME education. Thank you for your consideration.

Armand Krikorian, MD, FACE, FACP


I am humbled and honored to be selected as a candidate for the APDIM Council for the fiscal year 2021. As a member of APDIM/AAIM, I deeply appreciate the value that the organization offers to its members: a true sense of community for all individuals passionate about medical education. Through working together on various committees, participating in online forums as well as in-person meetings, members derive a unique satisfaction from the engagement with the organization and its mission. Core faculty, associate program directors and program directors, community or university-based, urban, suburban, rural and military programs: APDIM brings everyone together. My journey with the organization started as core faculty and associate program director and continues till today as program director of a community-based program in a suburb of Chicago.  I am currently serving on the Program Planning Committee and have long lost count of the number of friends and mentors I have encountered on the way. As prospective Councilor, I strongly believe in furthering APDIM’s vision of enhancing learning, caring and discovery through the professional and personal growth of its members. This sense of unity of the mind is better achieved by promoting diversity in representation and reach in order to ensure the voice of every member in our community is heard.

Margaret C. Lo, MD, FACP

Margaret-C.jpgThe year was 2012. I had just accepted the Associate Program Director position. I was so excited by all the prospects of this new role yet nervous of the unknown and fearful of missing out.  Like many of you, APDIM soon became my academic home and my GME family.  APDIM provides aspiring junior faculty and seasoned educators a safe place to share ideas and innovations, collaborate across programs, learn from like-minds, and promote professional growth.  Every individual in APDIM deserves the same support, learning, and sense of community that I have received from this organization and its members.

My primary vision on council is for APDIM to be the premiere voice and professional home for GME leaders and educators as we tackle the various issues related to graduate internal medicine education. In doing so, we must capitalize on our rich diversity and the collective strengths of our members. If elected to APDIM Council, I will focus my contribution on these platforms:

  • Foster faculty engagement at all levels within community-based and university-based institutions through shared faculty development resources and longitudinal mentorship programs
  • Promote ambulatory faculty recruitment, retention and remuneration through effective faculty development programs and GME policy changes.
  • Champion for physician resiliency and well-being in both our learners and our faculty through dissemination of effective teaching toolkits and institutional programming.
  • Educate our membership and encourage collaboration among each other through effective programming and networking opportunities on such evolving issues as Milestones 2.0, application inflation, the 10-year Self-Study, and primary care education.
  • Strength APDIM’s voice and position on important GME issues through strategic partnerships across the professional societies of SGIM and ACP and the academic organizations of ACGME, ABIM and AAMC.

Teaching is an integral mission of every APDIM member - as a clinician educator, as a resident/faculty mentor, as a program director, and as a physician.  Through my many APDIM meetings and various committee works, I appreciate the efforts GME faculty and residency leaders undertake to optimize the ever changing health care environment and learning climate.  My involvement in both SGIM and APDIM Program Planning, the AAIM Education Committee and the CHARM workgroup has focused on supporting these efforts for our members, our learners, and our patients.  It is my sincere hope to deepen my commitment through APDIM Council and give back to the AAIM community who has given me so much professionally.

Thank you for the privilege and the opportunity to serve you and the APDIM community.