Staff Award for Excellence - Mary Edwards

Mary Edwards

Mary Edwards

Administrative Specialist, Undergraduate Medical Education Program

Nominator, Dr. Cyril Grum: "Mary is the glue that holds together our medical student programs in the Department of Internal Medicine." 

Congratulatory Comments:

Work Performance

Mary is completely committed to coordinating a smooth and extremely effective Undergraduate Medical Student Program. She often takes her work home to ensure timely management of schedules, student assessments, grades, and assignments. She all too often comes in on weekends to work on schedules - which could be done faster with random assignment, but she is passionate about giving every student the best possible experience. Due to her extensive knowledge and excellent clinical judgment, she does an incredible job in matching students with faculty to create the best learning environment. Below are a few comments received from students about Mary's work:

  • “I also wanted to thank you again for keeping track of the dates I requested to be free. That was thoughtful and thorough, you are a wonderful manager of complex schedules and even special requests.”
  • “I also want to thank you for all your hard work with the rotation's scheduling, etc. This was one of the smoothest rotations I've had so far this year! Great job and thanks again!”


Mary is sought out by clerkship coordinators in other disciplines. A common occurrence is having my meeting with her interrupted, as another clerkship coordinator or medical school staff calls her for advice. At the medical school, when a new process is being considered, I regularly hear: "let’s run this by Mary to be sure". Mary is the gold standard to which all clerkship coordinators are compared. As I note with pride: “overall students rank their Internal Medicine experience the highest of all disciplines at this Medical School.” This would not be so without Mary’s insight, judgment, and outstanding ability to communicate with students and faculty. 

Customer Service

Mary is the liaison between medical students and the department. She is the person of first contact. She provides exemplary service to the over 200 students who spend time each year on our Internal Medicine services. She consistently will email or call students to place them on the very best rotation. Recently, a student discovered that they were being placed with someone with whom they recently “broke-up”. It is a testament to Mary’s reputation among students that the student felt comfortable in bringing this to Mary’s attention; and she, despite it being much past the dealing, orchestrated a switch to make sure the student was comfortable in their learning environment. Below are two student's comments received from the medical school’s year end review:

  • "I also want to thank you once more for the amount of work you put into making this clerkship run. It has by far been the one where I have learned the most, thanks in large part to the diversity of teachers and clinical spaces where we have the privilege to learn. I can only imagine the amount of coordination that goes into making this experience possible for every Michigan medical student… I just want you to know that your work does not go unnoticed and I sincerely appreciate it.”
  • "I genuinely appreciate your kind words and your advice. Your support and encouragement up until the very end speak so much to how much you care, and it doesn't go unnoticed. We are so lucky to have had you in our corner throughout this clerkship.”

Process Improvement

Mary has been instrumental in streamlining our grading process as we have transitioned to new grading requirements at the medical school. With the increased need for educational documentation, including documentation of direct observation and interprofessional education documentation for accreditation, Mary has been a godsend in making this manageable in their new computer system. Mary is also very committed to implementing appropriate changes every year in the clerkship based on yearly student evaluations, and input from faculty and national directives.