UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, reflects upon his recently completed eight years of service on the board of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) -- which included 28 full board meetings, 296 committee meetings, 132 airline flights, TNTC (too numerous to count) conference or Zoom calls -- all with a renewed sense of purpose.
"After six years as an influential member of the ACGME Board of Directors, Dr. Gold became its chair in September 2018, a role in which he served through September 2020. Dr. Gold's strategic leadership guided the organization through several unexpected challenges, including major institutional closures impacting thousands of residents and fellows and the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. His tenure also oversaw major successes and accomplishments, including, notably, the conclusion of the five-year transition to a single GME accreditation system, bringing together the allopathic and osteopathic traditions of medical education under the singular accreditation authority of the ACGME, and the creation of the ACGME's first Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Additionally, the new ACGME Strategic Plan, which will guide the organization toward fulfilling its mission and achieving its updated vision, was developed and launched under his thoughtful leadership."
-Thomas J. Nasca, MD
ACGME President and CEO
"I'm energized," the chancellor said.
Dr. Gold, who finished up his two-year term as chair of the board in September, helped lead ACGME during a time of tremendous transition -- and accomplishment.
The private, non-profit organization reviews and accredits 11,200 graduate medical education programs (residency and fellowship), with more than 140,000 house officers and the 830 institutions that sponsor them in the United States.
Dr. Gold served two three-year terms on the board, followed by a two-year term as its chair. He was the second consecutive UNMC physician to chair the ACGME board, succeeding Rowen Zetterman, MD.
That he was chairing the board as a pandemic hit, while simultaneously leading an academic medical center with a leadership role in the fight against the pandemic, was especially impressive, said his successor as ACGME chair Karen Nichols, DO.
"Here he is juggling what anybody else would consider an impossible task," Dr. Nichols said, "managing demands of world class educational institutions, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and all the components of all the things he is in charge of there, as you know.
"That's just incomprehensible," Dr. Nichols said. "And he did it with grace and quiet confidence and brilliant leadership. I just can't say enough good about him."
Relinquishing these responsibilities, "is a significant transition for me," the chancellor said. "This has been a very time-intensive, very enjoyable and productive period of my life.
"But, the transition has allowed me to refocus on things that are important."
Now, he can now turn even more attention to all things UNMC, the University of Nebraska Omaha, and, soon, the added role of executive vice president and provost of the University of Nebraska system.
That he no longer would chair the ACGME board played into the decision to accept the latter position, the chancellor said.
"I wanted to be sure I had the time, and would not compromise my leadership responsibilities here at the med center," Dr. Gold said.
Dr. Nichols said he will be missed at ACGME. "I've been in charge of a lot of things and president of a lot of organizations," she said. "The smartest thing to do is follow someone who did a bad job. I really blew it in following Dr. Jeff Gold. He has set the bar so high.
"I've learned so much about leadership from watching him," she said.