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Walden Magazine // Aug 01, 2019

How It Paid Off: Clinical Mentor to Physician Education Director

Forging a new path for medical resident educational outcomes

Dr. Janeane Walker ’18
Photo by Lyndsey Pethel.

NAME: Dr. Janeane Walker ’18

DEGREE: PhD in Nursing

TITLE BEFORE MY DEGREE: Clinical Practice Specialist, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton

TITLE AFTER MY DEGREE: Director of GME Educational Outcomes, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville

SEEKING NEW OPPORTUNITIES: In my previous role at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Braselton, my primary job was to provide education and mentoring for the nursing staff for conducting, evaluating, and applying research to patient care. After I completed my degree from Walden, as fate would have it, the center opened a doctoral-educated director-level position to oversee planning for a new Graduate Medical Education (GME) program at the Gainesville location. I was offered the position because of my combination of clinical education experience and doctorate-level expertise, and I began my new role just six months after graduating from Walden.

APPLYING LEADERSHIP AND RESEARCH SKILLS: Without my PhD, I wouldn’t be able to do the work that I’m doing now. My job is unique because I will be looking at data, evaluations, educational research, and educational outcomes for our newly formed GME program. My PhD in Nursing focused on utilizing leadership skills and employing research-based practice, so I can provide expert guidance for the professional development of resident physicians in their residency programs at our hospital.

IMPACTING THE COMMUNITY: There was a concerted effort to expand GME programs throughout the state of Georgia at hospitals without established programs. This was due to the impending physician shortage based on the state’s population growth. We aim to attract and retain as many physicians as possible by offering an unparalleled curriculum.

A NEW OUTLOOK: The biggest benefit of earning a Walden degree is the global perspective I’ve gained. I did my residencies in Hawaii and Barcelona, so I learned about new cultures within the context of public health policy and leadership. There was lots of interaction with other disciplines that gave me a larger view of the world around me. I would never have traveled as far or learned nearly as much as I did if I didn’t go to Walden.
— As told to Kyra Molinaro