Program Directors are leaders, mentors, coaches, and healers. The vision, mission, and culture of a program starts with the Director. They ensure that the program is meeting all accreditation requirements, recruit the best and brightest applicants, and most importantly oversee all aspects of the educational program so that the graduates are well prepared to care for patients on their own.
The 2020 Leadership in Graduate Medical Education Award for Program Directors goes to Dr. Emma Fields. Dr. Fields received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina and medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. Her graduate medical education includes a transitional year at the Medical University of South Carolina and radiation oncology residency at the University of Colorado. Dr. Fields joined the VCU radiation oncology faculty in 2013 and became the Program Director in 2017.
Dr. Douglas Arthur, Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, writes “What I have witnessed with Dr. Fields is a strong level of commitment, creativity, and consistency that she has continued to build [in her leadership roles] over the past five years. She has gained recognition nationally and has been invited into the national leadership within the radiation oncology residency organization and has led development of educational programs impacting residents across the country.” She served on the board of the Radiation Oncology Education Collaborative Study group and been a leader in the development of the Introductory Radiation Oncology Curriculum that has been implemented across the US and Canada. One innovative improvement she made to the residents’ training was simulation experiences. In fact, the simulated gynecologic brachytherapy program that she created has been shared with UVA and is now recognized at the national level as a teaching method through the American Brachytherapy Society’s School of gynecologic brachytherapy. Dr. Fields is author of 37 publications and has been recognized with numerous awards including “Top Doc” (3 times), induction into Alpha Omega Alpha, and was VCU Radiation Oncology Educator of the Year (twice). One of her colleagues writes “Dr. Fields is a passionate and highly skilled innovator in graduate medical education. She works tirelessly to successfully prepare medical residents for their future careers. Her outstanding talent and dedication have resulted in her effective leadership locally and on the national level.”