Salina Gu wins UCSF GME Excellence and Innovation Award

Salina Gu, UCSF Health Cardiology fellowship coordinator, was presented with the coveted award for UCSF Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Medical Education at the sixth annual GME awards ceremony on June 25th.  

Nominees needed to demonstrate a commitment to advancing graduate medical education at UCSF through educational and clinical quality improvement, service excellence, and innovation.   Salina's nomination letter (from one fellow on behalf of the Cardiology fellows) is worth sharing [edited a bit for brevity]:

I write this letter to formally submit Ms. Salina Gu’s name to be considered for recognition in the UCSF Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Medical Education Awards program. Ms. Gu has served as the program coordinator for the cardiology fellowship training program over the past three years where she has consistently embodied the type of excellence and innovation that this award seeks to recognize. The initial message from the Office of Graduate Medical Education soliciting nominations for this award prompted a flurry of email messages amongst the 18 current trainees in the general cardiology fellowship training program, 2 trainees in the subspecialty interventional cardiology training program, 6 trainees in the subspecialty electrophysiology training program, and 3 trainees in the subspecialty echocardiography training program all collectively underscoring our overwhelming enthusiasm for Ms. Gu’s receipt of this award. As a representative member of this collective group, I would like to take this opportunity to describe Ms. Gu’s leadership within our training programs and to outline some of the many ways in which she regularly goes above and beyond the requirements of her position to advocate for and take care of the trainees in our varied cardiology fellowship programs.

Ms. Gu assumed her current role at the outset of my first year of cardiology fellowship training where she quickly took over the many responsibilities associated with the position of program coordinator. My colleagues and I all quickly identified her as not only as the person who would immediately know the answer to any administrative question we may have, we also came to realize that she was the person within our department who would make sure we were aware and took advantage of the benefits afforded to us via the Office of Graduate Medical Education. She is immaculate in her record keeping and makes it a point to notify us of upcoming training requirements so that we never find ourselves in the position of being overdue or without the necessary certifications to carry out our duties.

Over the course of the last year, Ms. Gu has remained the point person for all of the fellows in our training program during a change in our leadership. This transition has been followed by a number of small and large structural and functional changes in our program, which Ms. Gu has carefully overseen and ensured a smooth implementation of. Each year, our division selects a “chief fellow” to whom a number of administrative tasks are assigned. The last two and the current chief fellow all note that their job would have been impossible to complete without Ms. Gu’s assistance, insight, and ability to quickly execute. Ms. Gu carries out her duties with a degree of friendliness and enthusiasm that leaves everyone feeling a little bit better following an interaction with her.

Ms. Gu is indeed an extremely talented administrator, but what sets her apart and what we believe most strongly serves as an example of her excellence is the extraordinary lengths that she goes to in order address the well-being of the fellowship trainees in our division. If you were to ask any cardiology fellowship trainee for an example of how Ms. Gu looks after them, they would not hesitate for a moment to describe an encouraging page they received from her after a difficult weekend call, a reminder email that the funds on their meal card would soon expire if left unused, or the thoughtful gift she gave them upon the birth of their child. Ms. Gu maintains an open-door policy and is always happy to take time away from her many responsibilities to listen to trainees. She is the repository of our complaints and praise for faculty across our division and others, challenges we face in our personal lives, frustrations we experience in our professional capacities, and the excitement of our triumphs. We can always count on her professionalism and discretion. Her ever-patient and calm nature have brought us all comfort on a number of occasions. When I have spoken to colleague in other divisions about the nature of our collective relationship as cardiology trainees with our coordinator, they are surprised by the closeness and fondness with which we speak of Ms. Gu—a testament to how she exceeds the requirements of her position each and every day.

In an institution with diverse training programs across multiple disciplines such as UCSF, there are bound to be many talented program coordinators. It is in this very high-functioning environment that Ms. Gu regularly demonstrates herself as an exceptional member of the Graduate Medical Education community. While we regularly make efforts to express our gratitude and appreciation to Ms. Gu, we feel strongly that her efforts warrant wider recognition and offer our strongest possible support for her receipt of this award.