Employee Spotlight: John Shafer

November 23, 2021
John Shafer

John Shafer, education manager at the George Washington University (GW) Medical Faculty Associates (MFA), is in a fortunate position: not only does he play a direct role in helping to shape the experiences of obstetrics and gynecology residents, but he also gets to watch these doctors learn and grow. More, he forges relationships with these physicians that live far longer than their four years of residency. Here, Shafer discusses how he’s learned about graduate medical education through experience and what he finds rewarding about his career.
 
What is your position at the GW MFA, and what does it entail?
 
Shafer: I am the education manager for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. I administrate the residency program and am the liaison with the Office of Graduate Medical Education. I manage the grand rounds and resident didactics for the department. Annually, I conduct the resident recruitment process. 
 
How did you get started at GW?
 
Shafer: I have worked at the MFA for 16 years; previous to that, I worked for several years as a concierge on Labor and Delivery at GW Hospital. While working in the hospital, I met Dr. Nancy Gaba, who was the residency director at that time. Dr. Gaba was seeking a residency coordinator, and I was hired to fill the position.
 
What accomplishments here are you particularly proud of?
 
Shafer: I am pleased that I have been able to make steady progress in organizing the residency program and education activities of the Department of OBGYN, freeing the faculty to focus on clinical work and the content of resident education.    
 
What lessons have you learned while working here?
 
Shafer: I learned graduate medical education “from the ground up” while working at the MFA.  I have honed interpersonal relationship and diplomacy skills in this position. I appreciate the diversity we have here at GW and the MFA and working as a member of the team alongside providers, residents, students, and staff.    
 
What excites or inspires you the most about your job?
 
Shafer: We are very proud of the amazing residents we attract to the OBGYN residency program here at GW. It is very rewarding watching our residents progress through their rigorous four years of training and emerge as capable, knowledgeable physicians. I treasure my relationships with many alumni of our program who are out in the world doing great things.  
 
Anything you’d like to add?
 
Shafer: I was privileged to work with the Culture Transformation initiative undertaken recently by the MFA and greatly enjoyed meeting members of the team from all over the MFA.

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