Sanford School of Medicine Residencies

Pathology resident named to ACGME committee

Sanford School of Medicine PGY2 pathology resident Doug Lynch, MD, has been appointed to the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education Review Committee for Pathology.

The Residency Review Committee handles accreditation activities for a specialty or sponsoring institution, and functions according to ACGME policies and procedures. The committee is comprised of 7-20 volunteers and meets two to four times per year for a period of one to three days. The committee provides peer evaluation of residency/fellowship programs in its specialty and accompanying subspecialties.  

This unique honor is a two-year appointment for Dr. Lynch, and he is the only resident physician who will serve on the committee. His term will run from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2013, which marks the end of his SSOM residency. The residency member participates as a full voting member in all RRC activities, including program review and policy discussion. Residents must be able to devote 8 to 12 hours to program review before each review committee meeting. The resident member is also a member of the ACGME Council of Review Committee Residents. The CRCR is composed of resident members of each Review Committee. The CRCR, which meets twice a year, provides valuable input and feedback to the ACGME Board about matters related to residents, graduate medical education, and accreditation.

Dr. Lynch was nominated by his program director, Joel Ziebarth, MD, who said that his resident will make a great committee member. "Doug is a bright, energetic resident with an outgoing personality, good language skills, and a self-effacing demeanor, which made him a good candidate," Dr. Ziebarth explained.

Dr. Lynch's appointment provides some national exposure to SSOM residency programs, but will also benefit the organization in other ways.

"Doug should be able to bring back examples of best practices in pathology education, which can help improve our residency program," Dr. Ziebarth said. Dr. Ziebarth added that Dr. Lynch will also be able to make connections with some of the "heavy hitters" in pathology education.

SSOM Dean of GME Michael Tibbitts, MD, agreed that Dr. Lynch's appointment will help improve all of the residency programs. "We will benefit by knowing through Dr. Lynch what the focus of the RRC and ACGME is and how to fulfill our responsibilities to residency education," Dr. Tibbitts said. "His viewpoint as the sole resident on the committee will be so important. He will come back to us with firsthand information about the workings of a large educational organization."

The excitement has spread throughout the pathology department, according to Dr. Lynch. "Everyone was pretty excited around here," according to Dr. Lynch. "It's always nice for someone from South Dakota to get national recognition. Everyone always thinks we're such a small program."  

The Pathology Residency Review Committee members have not been formally announced yet, but last year's members hailed from The Methodist Hospital (Houston), Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, University of Virginia Health System, Wake Forest University Medical Center, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Emory University, and the University of Colorado-Denver.

Dr. Lynch will complete a committee orientation in May, followed by RRC and CRCR meetings in September 2011. Meeting dates for 2012 and 2013 have not yet been decided.