I am honored and humbled to be considered for the position of President-elect of COMSEP. COMSEP has been and will always be my family, my community, my mentor, my friend, and my greatest source of inspiration. From the day that I embarked on my journey in medical education, countless COMSEPers have welcomed and embraced me and lifted me up when I have faltered… without question and without doubt…. and have supported me both professionally and personally. I owe you all for who I am and where I am and hope to give back to my community in any way possible. Being the Chair of the Grants committee for many years and more recently serving on the Executive Committee of COMSEP has brought me greater insight and awareness into our strengths and the potential that remains untapped. I will give to COMSEP what it wants and what it needs, and do so by listening and by hoping to inspire everyone to mentor and support each other and to be responsive to our changing needs and identity; and at the same time collaborate and build bridges with the many other organizations that have education as their primary mission.
Jenny Christner – Blurb for President-Elect – April 6, 2021
Passion. Fun. Educators. Dancing. Mad Skill. Community. These are just a few of the words that I think personify COMSEP.
My journey with COMSEP began in 2006. Over the years I have had the privilege of having numerous leadership roles in the organization – from Chairing the Faculty Development SIG (there may be a video on Orienting Learners on the Resource page…), giving workshops- including helping with the New Clerkship Director Preconference Workshop, helping select workshops for the annual meetings, being a part of the mentoring program and assisting a new colleague in kickstarting her research program, to most recently helping launch the brand new Wellness Collaborative as a Co-Chair – I’ve loved giving back to the organization that I truly credit with helping me achieve the success that I’ve been so fortunate to enjoy. While participating in national leadership roles with COMSEP, the APA, AAMC, ACE and the LCME, I have also been a clerkship director, program director, assistant dean, associate dean and then “the” dean. I’m also an entrepreneur with my own company. However - as you learn in leadership or as a CEO – it’s not about your journey. It’s about serving the needs of others by never assuming you know what those needs are and always being curious/asking questions. As a leader your job is to select team members with incredible potential and then pave the way for them to achieve their destination and one that you hope and pray far exceeds your own. So too with COMSEP, I believe that as the next President, I can continue the trajectory of this amazing organization and listen to, then lead our members to greater heights. As I review COMSEP’s mission, guiding principles and strategic plan, I see many potential ways my skills are in synergy with the organization’s goals and will allow me to serve the membership. I will speak to a few of those that relate directly to the strategic plan, particularly Professional Development, Scholarship and Collaboration. I would like to see COMSEP members (administrators, faculty, students etc.) take advantage of professional development opportunities beyond those offered at our annual meeting and learn about principles such as creating a personal brand and using technology/big data to advance both our careers and learner outcomes. I would like to see COMSEP members leading inter-institutional, inter-clerkship disciplines research on best practices in education pedagogy. We have seen emergency medicine and ob/gyn make some bold moves around residency interviewing. Are there lessons learned? Where can we collaborate? Where can we lead? Additionally, with recent changes to Step exams, now is the time to work with other national education organizations to determine what is important to retain regarding pediatric education skill assessment and how to standardize a national approach to teaching and assessing these skills/milestones. These are just a few examples I would like to explore and find what resonates with our members around making lasting impacts.
Innovators. Convention breakers. Rule makers. Collaborators. Achievers. Forever progressing and pushing the envelope. Pediatricians. We are COMSEP.