VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education “LGME” Award – Program Coordinator Award

For ten years, as Education Administrator for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Ms. Amber Cox has supported the administrative and academic aspects of the Orthopaedic Surgery residency program, maintained the departmental library, and handled personnel matters for the residents. She is also responsible for supporting two fellowship programs, coordinating the interview process for residency applicants, maintenance of records for accreditation, planning special events and responding to the day to day needs of up to 27 residents each year. And, Ms. Cox does all of this extremely well.

“I feel strongly that I have the best Program Coordinator in the world,” declares Wilhelm A. Zuelzer, M.D., Co-Program Director, Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Orthopaedics. “She is organized second to none. Please feel free to review her file systems and her office.” Ms. Cox is also known for her personable and approachable demeanor as she supports busy residents and faculty. Her knowledge and experience are valued by program residents and faculty.

During Ms. Cox’s tenure as Program Coordinator there have been ACGME site visits for three programs, the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program and the Orthopaedic Adult Reconstruction and Trauma Fellowship Programs. Each program received full accreditation, no citations, and only commendations, due in large part to her careful preparation of documentation and meticulous record keeping.

Ms. Cox is well known at the Orthopaedic Resident Review Committee for her exceptional preparation and organization for internal program reviews. Dr. Robert S. Adelaar, Professor and Chairman, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, states that Ms. Cox has “grown with her experience and with her intellect to be one of the well-respected resident coordinators in the VCU Health System. She makes my job easier.”

“Simply put, the residency could not run without her.” declares Gregory F. Domson, M.D., Assistant Professor and Associate Program Director for Orthopaedic Surgery. “Amber is experienced, dedicated and reliable. She is always up to date and regularly attends (national) coordinator meetings to stay abreast of new developments.”

While managing the demands of supporting the residency program day to day, Ms. Cox takes the initiative to find new resources and offer suggestions for improving the residency program and interview process. Residency applicants rate their VCUHS interview experience very highly thanks to Ms. Cox’s organization and application of her experience to planning the interview process.

Ms. Cox further demonstrated her dedication to her profession by taking coursework to achieve certification as a training administrator of graduate medical education, a certification that she has held since 2009. She has served as a Steering Committee member of the Association of Residency Coordinators in Orthopaedic Surgery, a national professional organization for program coordinators of orthopaedic surgery residencies and fellowships. Ms. Cox has been a member of E.A.S.E. (Education, Administration, Scholarship, Evaluation) since 2005. She regularly attends professional development conferences to further her knowledge and skills.

In the words of Dr. Zuelzer, “What a partner.” We recognize Ms. Amber Cox for her ten years of outstanding service supporting Orthopaedic Surgery education.