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UC's Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery has 20 residents, all spending five years training in otolaryngology, basic surgical, emergency and critical care and anesthesia. Each year, the department also hosts six external rotators from other Ohio hospitals, who participate in rotations to complete their residency training.
Dee Wischer serves as resident coordinator senior within the department, managing the schedules and organization of the existing residents while working on the annual process of selecting the next batch of medical students to be matched into the department.
What are your responsibilities as residency coordinator?
"I handle whatever the residents need—and that varies. I pull together the lecture schedule, make certain they have current licensure, handle evaluation reminders and oversee the assignments for the call schedule.
"I’ve been with the department of otolaryngology for 10 years, and it’s grown quite a bit in that time. We’ve added a number of faculty members on both sides of the street, both here in the adult side and at Children’s Hospital.
"With being one of the very top programs, we always have a large number of medical students who apply to be matched here. We just concluded the interview process—this year, we had 300 applicants for four openings. Each year we see a tremendous response and, each year, the medical students applying are more and more impressive. It makes it quite a task for our reviewers to sort through the applications."
Do you have any techniques for coordinating all the department’s residents and their work?
"Communication is key. I keep residents on point by communicating with them often, mostly via email or their pagers.
"My office also moved about a year ago and I’m directly opposite the resident room, which helps a lot. I can catch them when they haven’t responded to me."
What do you like to do outside UC? Do you have family in the area?
"My outlets are in the creative side of things. I paint, I design and fabricate jewelry and I knit, crochet and sew. I’m in the middle of designing some quilts now. I like to work from my own design rather than working on a pattern from a book—it allows me to be more creative in my pieces.
"I also love the outdoors. I live in Fairfield, so I go for bike rides or walks in Sharon Woods or Miami Whitewater Forest.
"I have two daughters, Jennifer and Stephanie. Oddly enough, they are both geologists. They both started geological work in the oil industry in Houston, one of the industry’s five major hubs, but now Jennifer lives in Hamilton and Stephanie just moved to Brazil with her husband, who is from there."