A Day in the Life

Day in the Life: Erin Wood

Erin Wood
Erin Wood

Thermos of coffee in hand, I dash up the street to my nearest bus stop to catch the 7:45 a.m. for a trip downtown to the Civic Center, where I grab the Metro to the heart of campus. Mornings on public transit tend to be quiet affairs, with a mix of families taking kids to appointments, professionals headed to the office, and older folks on their way to do the weekly shop. It has become a soothing ritual to wave & nod to the regulars and watch the city wake up outside the bus window. Pro tip – download the free Transit app to get real-time status updates and stop reminders while using STL Public Transport!

My office is located in the newly renovated Northwest Tower suite, which is slowly becoming a “happening hub” as team members return to the office. Although the overall formula for the day is the same, there’s no telling what might come my way. Right now it is interview season for our residency program so it’s all hands on deck to prepare and send out interview materials, organize schedules, and respond to a high volume of applicant outreach.

When not knee-deep in emails, I’m often working with one of our two new education team members. It takes a full academic year for new coordinators to see everything, and there tends to be a lot of nuance to all that they do. We have a lot of teaching moments, liberally sprinkled with laughter and the occasional groan of commiseration.

My favorite part of any day though is when a trainee or faculty member stops by to say hello. Invariably, we end up discussing something that leads to improvements in the residency. For example – an impromptu chat with a resident led to the realization that the trainees didn’t have all the information about how our faculty feedback system works. Our team has worked hard to clearly communicate about the process in recent weeks, and we’re now seeing an unprecedented uptick in constructive and positive feedback for our teaching faculty. I’m very excited to see the innovations in education that will undoubtedly arise from this change!

The end of the workday is simply a transition to the other chapters in my life; a lively ride home on the bus and catching up with my husband over dinner before starting the next thing. I’m an assistant scoutmaster for a local BSA troop, so on Tuesday nights I can usually be found supporting our girls’ patrol as they plan their next hiking or camping adventure (Philmont bound – 2024!)

Beyond scouting, many nights are spent working on what my husband and I refer to as our “adventure of a lifetime” – an 1890’s three-story brick home that needs a lot of love. Our latest project is peeling back layers of dropped ceilings and vinyl floors to expose the original architecture, and finding hidden gems like original windows and gas-light fixtures along the way! We’re doing most of the work ourselves and challenging ourselves to “reduce, reuse, recycle” materials where possible, which means a lot of date nights shopping for reclaimed flooring and light fixtures at Refab STL. Check back in a year and see how things are going!

I joined the Residency team in February of 2019. New to Graduate Medical Education (and the healthcare field in general) I wasn’t sure what to expect. Almost four years in and every day still brings new and interesting challenges – I wouldn’t have it any other way!