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VCU/VCUHS Leadership in Graduate Medical Education “LGME” Award for Program Director
Program Directors are critical to the overall success of the institution’s education mission, ensuring the quality of housestaff education and graduating highly competent clinicians who are well prepared to care for our neighbors, friends, and family. Program directors are responsible for recruiting applicants, overseeing the curriculum, safeguarding the wellbeing of the residents, ensuring the quality learning and work environment, and continuously improving the program. Program directors make sure that the vision and mission of the program come to fruition.
Dr. Dodson received her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Spanish form the University of Virginia and medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine. After completing a general surgery internship and otolaryngology residency at VCU Health System, she joined the VCU faculty in 2005 as an Assistant Professor. She quickly rose through the ranks becoming Associate Program Director in 2008 and Program Director in 2013. In 2019, she was awarded the academic rank of full Professor. Dr. Dodson has been the recipient of many special awards and honors including the Outstanding Teacher Award from the VCU medical school class of 2021 in ambulatory clerkships, the Resident Teaching Award, and has been listed among Richmond Magazine’s “Top Docs” list in pediatric otolaryngology.
Dr. Dodson is known for increasing the quality and rigor of the otolaryngology residency program while fostering an environment of collegiality between the residents and faculty that provides an outstanding learning environment. She made substantial and innovative changes to the program including starting a faculty mentorship program for the residents and a resident mentorship program for medical students. She opened lines of communication with the residents and reworked the curriculum and rotations to improve their exposure to the breadth of the field of otolaryngology. Dr. Dodson is a tireless advocate for diversity within the residency program. The results speak for themselves with a high number of women and underrepresented minority graduates.
The letter of support from the residents was incredibly complimentary. They describe a compassionate, innovate leader that is always looking out for their best interests. She is an “exemplary” advocate for the housestaff and takes resident wellbeing seriously, implementing several measures including weekly recognition of residents’ exceptional work at the department’s Grand Rounds, establishing an anonymous forum for resident feedback, leading the department’s wellness committee, hosting and planning social gatherings, and starting a quarterly town hall meeting with residents.
Dr. Dodson is a leader, innovator, role model. She epitomizes the ideals of a residency program director.