Training Day: Staff Strengthen and Acquire Skills at PD Retreat

June 6, 2024

Stanford Surgery Staff attended a professional development retreat on Monday, June 3. The day was structured into two segments with the morning’s “Leading Teams” by Farhad Matiwalla session specifically geared toward managers and directors.

“Often, we offer leadership opportunities to staff without providing the necessary tools and training,” said Surgery Vice Chair and Director of Finance and Administration Stephanie Edelman. “While our staff leaders are generally seasoned and experienced, there's nothing like formal training, and this retreat provided the ideal platform.”

The afternoon sessions were open to all staff with more than 100 people showing up in-person and via zoom for:

  • “Feedback in the Workplace” by Mike Gisondi MD, and

  • “Finding Equilibrium” by Patty Devries
     

Edelman said feedback training was requested by several staff members.

“During the role-playing portion of Dr. Gisondi's talk, I felt more comfortable in the second scenario where I asked my supervisor for feedback. Partially because my heart rate chilled out a bit after initially volunteering, but also because I just felt more "in control" of the conversation. I think when you put yourself in the position of asking for feedback, you've already done a lot of the mental preparation needed to receive that feedback,” said Robyn Foote, a simulations specialist and education projects coordinator at the Goodman Surgical Education Center.

Foote says she plans to incorporate asking for regular feedback into her professional practice.

“My biggest takeaway from this session was that being proactive about feedback, especially on the receiving end, could maybe make those the conversations easier and more approachable,” said Foote.

The session by DeVries was a followup from a session in January on Psychological Safety.

“The emphasis was on each individual's impact on our work environment,” said Edelman.

The staff have a second off-site retreat planned for Friday, August 3rd that will focus more on team-building.

Media Contact

Rachel Baker
Director of Communications

Bio

As the Director of Communications for Stanford Surgery, Rachel Baker tells the stories of her department's faculty, staff, and trainees. With the help of an amazing team of content creators, she produces and curates original articles, photos, videos, graphics, and even podcasts.She works personally with each division, center, program, and lab within her purview to define their audience and reach their goals while maintaining a consistent brand voice. She hosts quarterly professional development workshops open to all AEM web authors--please email her if you'd like to join! She also offers both 1:1 and group education to faculty and residents on a variety of topics including media training, using social media to advantage, and presentation refinement. Rachel holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism with a focus on photography from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. A transplant from the DC-area, she still misses foliage and argyle but has happily adopted the official NorCal hobbies of visiting wineries, hiking local trails, and eating avocado.

About Stanford Surgery

The Stanford University Department of Surgery is dedicated to inventing the future of surgical care through:

• pioneering cutting-edge research, 
• developing the next generation of leaders, and 
• healing through incomparable surgical skills and compassion. 

To learn more, please visit surgery.stanford.edu

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