GME Performance Enhancement Program

The ACGME requires that all trainees be well prepared to provide high quality care and practice medicine independently upon graduation from their training program.  It is the shared responsibility of the training program and the institution to provide the time and resources needed to help trainees achieve their goals.  The Office of GME at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School has created a novel Performance Enhancement Program (PEP) to help trainees that are having difficulty meeting requirements for their level of training in certain core competencies.  The PEP is an institution-wide program that utilizes Rutgers' resources and experienced faculty to provide additional training and mentorship for our residents and fellows, affording them a golden opportunity to course correct and get back on track.  

PEP Process Flow Diagram

This flow diagram helps illustrate Rutgers’ deliberative approach to assisting trainees who are having difficulty achieving milestones, and includes guided mentorship with defined improvement plans.

Each trainee is assigned a faculty mentor outside of his or her own department to be a mentor, guide, and advocate through this process.  Faculty mentors volunteer their time to formulate an action plan that is specific to the needs of each trainee. Faculty mentors meet with their assigned mentees regularly and are an integral part of the PEP process.

Frequently Asked Questions:

a. Is PEP a disciplinary action? 
No.  Enrollment in PEP is NOT considered a disciplinary action.  Trainees who are enrolled and successfully meet the objectives of their personalized performance plan will not have this information disclosed to any state medical licensing boards or future employers.

b. Is PEP confidential?
Yes. The institution is dedicated to protecting the confidentiality of our trainees.

c. How long do trainees have to be in the PEP process?
Each PEP cycle is individualized to the specific trainee enrolled in the program. Trainees will be enrolled in the PEP for a minimum of 3 months but may require more time or additional PEP cycles.

d. May I continue to meet with my faculty mentor after my PEP cycle is complete?
Yes, trainees may continue to meet with their PEP faculty mentors if they feel that they would continue to benefit from their guidance. Trainees in the PEP are not required to continue to meet with their PEP mentors following successful completion of the PEP cycle.

e. I was asked to obtain an evaluation at the Resident Wellness & Excellence Center as part of my PEP cycle. Is this required?
The Rutgers NJMS Resident Wellness and Excellence Center (RWEC) is a resource for all trainees regardless of academic standing.  We realize that extraneous stressors and factors can influence a trainee’s academic performance.  Examples of common stressors are burnout, depression, relationship/family issues, family illness, and substance abuse.  We want to ensure that our trainees know that there are resources available to them to help with issues outside the academic setting.  Many people find it difficult to ask for such help.  By introducing you to the RWEC, we hope to make this step a little bit easier.  All trainees enrolled in the PEP are assigned to have an introductory visit to the RWEC.  It is up to you to decide if you would like to continue to take advantage of this valuable service.

f. Do program directors disclose the PEP participation on medical licensing forms or future employers on hospital credentialing forms?
The Program Director (PD) will not disclose enrollment in PEP to medical licensing boards or credentialing services, if the PEP cycle was completed successfully.  Any disciplinary actions filed against you during your training may have to be disclosed by your PD.  Please discuss this directly with your Program Director or the Associate Dean for GME.   Trainees must realize that professional improvement is an ongoing process and will be monitored by training program leadership.

g. Do trainees have to disclose PEP participation on medical licensing boards or future employers on hospital credentialing forms?
No. Trainees do not need to disclose their enrollment in the PEP to medical licensing boards or future employers. Please discuss this directly with your PD.

h. How are faculty mentors chosen?
Faculty mentors are chosen based on their field of expertise as well as a presumed “fit” with the trainee. In order to allow for objectivity and more freedom to interact with one another, we specifically choose mentors who are not within the trainee’s specialty or subspecialty.

For more information, please feel free to contact Dr. Tiffany Murano, Chair of the GME Professional Enhancement Program, at