Rita M. Rossi-Foulkes, MD, FAAP, MS, FACP
As I discussed my academic and clinical interests and passions with my section chief, I fell into the “fan-girl” mode to which I can succumb when excited about an idea. Unbridled enthusiasm has led me to various endeavors I have undertaken from arranging diversity and safe-space trainings to curriculum redesign, to founding a transition consultation service, to coaching a resident through a difficult time, to playing live music for fun and fund-raising. My section chief was very supportive regarding my academic proposals and remarked to me that I didn’t have to remain a program director forever, and could pursue other academic interests in the vein that she did. I was aghast! Fostering a diverse group of Med-Peds trainees toward individualized career paths is a privilege and remains my long-term commitment. Serving as a program director is the most rewarding work I have done and I plan to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. Reducing program director and resident attrition by promoting collaboration and innovation, diversity and inclusion, and arts and humanities in medicine is an extension of my passion for training future Med-Peds physician leaders.
Since I started my career in 1993, I have encountered many professional and personal challenges and have maneuvered through many changes in medical education training and clinical practice. I have learned invaluable lessons from students, residents, colleagues, and patients. Having served as a long time member of MPPDA and on the MPPDA executive board as Secretary-Treasurer, I gained role models from the Presidents to the members at large of our unique and wonderful community. The most important lesson I have learned and what has sustained me through personal and professional obstacles is that genuine engagement with others fosters compassion, collaboration and creativity and leads to innovation and a sense of purpose for all involved.
Promoting engagement prevents burnout and isolation and fosters resilience. MPPDA encourages engagement among its members through its committees, meetings and the list serve. In the future, additional committees or interest groups may include resilience and well-being, diversity and inclusion, arts and humanities and community engagement and advocacy. Our membership at large has a wealth of expertise and experience from which to draw.
The following is from MPPDA’s mission statement: “At its core, Med-Peds as a specialty places an inherent value on diversity –diversity of experience, practice and opportunity. MPPDA supports and assists program directors in creating a learning and working environment placing value (on) all human differences including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, country of origin, disability and age.” I am proud to be a member supporting such a mission and it would be an honor and privilege to serve MPPDA as President. I look forward to fully engaging and collaborating with all of the members of MPPDA and the many professional organizations (AAIM, APDIM, APPD, ACP, AAP, RRC-IM and RRC-Peds) crucial to its mission.
Christopher Bruti, MD, MPH
I am writing to express my interest in helping to lead the Med-Peds Program Directors Association in the role of Secretary-Treasurer. I believe MPPDA is already a tremendous organization and I would like to continue to allow it to thrive as we navigate the uncharted waters of the future of medicine.
In the role of Secretary-Treasurer, I know that fiscal health is ultimately important to allowing MPPDA to achieve its strategic goals. I hope to collaborate with the rest of the leadership team to fund opportunities to grow Med-Peds through novel outreach programs. One example is funding strategic promotion of Med-Peds careers at institutions without Med-Peds residency programs. Another is partnering with NMPRA to promote Med-Peds at regional or national medical student conferences, including groups underrepresented in medicine. In my 5 years on the leadership team of Midwest Society of General Internal Medicine including the role of President, we were able to improve the bottom line of the region in order to offer more value to our members, especially trainees. I hope to bring a similar approach to MPPDA allowing the organization to do even more than it currently does to improve and grow Med-Peds.
As the other half of Secretary-Treasurer, I know that keeping the group organized will help everyone perform their best and achieve the group’s goals. I have a lot of experience in distant committee work and know the challenges that conference calls, emails, and message boards provide. I will work with the rest of the executive board to commit to a streamlined and organized communication strategy. I hope to use this communication strategy to not just unite the executive board, but in conjunction with the Member Representative, to make geographically distant Med-Peds programs seem closer together.
MPPDA is a tremendous organization which has and will continue to do excellent work on to benefit and grow Med-Peds residency programs. I hope to give back and contribute to the group which has given me and my colleagues so much. I believe my variety of experiences in various levels of medical education, regional SGIM leadership, and hospital leadership will make me an excellent Secretary-Treasurer and member of the MPPDA executive board.
Thank you for considering my nomination.
Sharon Wretzel, MD, FAAP, FACP
I am running for secretary-treasurer of MPPDA not only to add my voice to the executive committee but because I want to give back to the academic community that has become my intellectual home in the past 7 years. When I attended my first MPPDA meeting many years ago in Nashville, I was 6 weeks into being an assistant program director and I was completely overwhelmed. Despite my clear lack of knowledge of what it meant to be a program leader, I was struck by the support and mentorship I found in this community at that meeting. Throughout these past 7 years, I have grown because of that continuous mentorship and the knowledge I have gained from working alongside each of you.
In considering ways that I could conceivably give back to this community of like-minded physician- educators and program coordinators, I kept coming back to the idea of joining the executive committee. I feel that being the “keeper of the record” and assisting with the budget as secretary – treasurer of MPPDA would be a wonderful way to continue to work with our community in the next four years. I look forward to being able to serve as the MPPDA Secretary – Treasurer.