Dec. 1, 2021 — A UF College of Medicine faculty member is among a group of medical educators honored nationally by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, or ACGME, for 2022.
Nicole Paradise Black, M.D., M.Ed., FAAP, a professor in the college’s department of pediatrics, has been recognized by the ACGME as a recipient of the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award. The award recognizes program directors who have fostered innovation and improvement in their residency/fellowship programs and served as exemplary role models for residents and fellows.
Paradise Black, who has served as director of the college’s pediatric residency program for the past 11 years, said the program has implemented several practices that have not only increased board pass rates but have also better prepared pediatric residents to take on challenges as they become professionals.
The residency program has implemented academic half-days, with didactic learning one afternoon per week and no clinical responsibilities during this time.
Paradise Black said this helps residents to better focus on learning during these sessions.
“I like to tackle problems from a unique perspective and listen to the ideas of my colleagues,” she said. “This idea came from one of my chief residents and I’m always turning to others for their input. There is a great village of people around me who I’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with and learn from.”
Paradise Black said UF’s pediatric residency program also increased its focus on telemedicine even before the COVID-19 pandemic created a necessary and immediate shift to deliver health care through technology.
“One of my goals has always been to stay ahead of the curve and try to project where things might be going soon,” she said. “Telemedicine has been on our radar for some time now.”
She has also emphasized the importance of wellness in the residency program to help prevent burnout among young physicians.
Desmond Schatz, M.D., interim chair for the department of pediatrics, said Paradise Black is an important leader for the department.
“She is both an institutional and national leader in innovation within house staff education,” he said. “Her insight is invaluable and she serves as a mentor for countless undergraduate, medical and M.P.H. students, residents, fellows, staff and faculty. She is the consummate team player and a difference maker. Her national recognition with this prestigious award is a tribute not only to the department of pediatrics at UF but also to the entire College of Medicine.”