This past February marked the 13th year at The GW Medical Faculty Associates (GW MFA) for Nykiah Betts, who serves as the clerkship coordinator for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, interfacing with students during their six-week rotations in the department.
Q: What do you do in your role?
Betts: As the OB-GYN clerkship coordinator, I help to coordinate the students’ experience during their rotation within the clerkship. Students are on the rotation for six weeks and they rotate between Inova Alexandria Hospital, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Holy Cross Hospital, and GW. Once I get the student allotment from the university, I work with the physicians to make sure each student has three weeks of inpatient and three weeks of outpatient experience.
Q: What brought you to the MFA?
Betts: Honestly, my sister worked at a law firm that sat on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue. We are very close and have worked very close to each other. I came down to the area one day for lunch with her and saw there were positions available at the MFA, so I came in and interviewed. I clicked very quickly with the supervisor at the time. In fact, I still work with him and help out with his residency programs.
Q: You’ve been at the MFA for 13 years. What drives you to do what you do every day?
Betts: I think medical education is a big factor in our lives right now. With what’s going on now as an example, doctors take an oath and are in hospitals and on the frontlines caring for patients. These students are very excited to be on the wards with the physicians. I just think it takes a very special person to be a physician.
Q: What do you bring to the table that makes you successful in your role?
Betts: I think being flexible and a team player helps me to elevate the department. Also, I’m a people person. COVID-19 has made it difficult, since I don’t have the connection with the students that I did before when we were in the room together, but I’m still an advocate. You can ask any student, I will go to bat for them. I want them to be the best.
Q: How else has COVID-19 challenged and changed what you do?
Betts: Since the onset of COVID-19, we had to find learning tools that would be effective since the students weren’t able to come to the campus. We weren’t electronic but our department hustled to get everything online. We moved quickly to learn how to use more features of Blackboard. The students are now able to take their weekly quizzes on Blackboard. I can easily log into the system and make sure the students are achieving what they’re supposed to and meeting their requirements before the six weeks is up. This is my third rotation since the pandemic started and honestly adapting hasn’t been too bad for us.