Fond Farewell as Pam Howard Retires

By Lynn McCain | April 28 2021

Pam Howard working with Marie Goldner.In 2009, a shy, but extremely talented employee arrived in the Education Office of the Department of Pathology. “From the beginning, we knew we’d work well together and since then, our team has become like family,” stated Marie Goldner about Pam Howard, the Residency Program Administrator. This week, the Education office bids Pam a fond farewell as she prepares to retire. “If I had to choose what I appreciate the most about Pam, it is her incredible commitment to her work. That is not something that can be easily taught. I think it is a characteristic inherent in who she is,” continued Goldner.

“Pam is at the heart of all things that deal with the residency program from arranging and managing over 80 interviews (visits, dinners, hotels, etc.) to organizing all that each resident needs when they arrive and train here, welcoming them into our department,” said Dr. Carol Farver, Director of Pathology Education Programs. “Finally and foremost, she takes care that all are as successful as possible during their four years training.”

“When asked what our current residents remember most about their University of Michigan residency interview day, Pam’s name was consistently mentioned,” said Residency Director Dr. Kristine Konopka. “Her superb organizational skills, attention to detail, and personal touches have been the keys for successful resident recruitment year after year.” 

In fact, the residents joined in on the nomination of Pam for an Above and Beyond Award, praising Pam’s efforts, whose nomination included comments such as these:

“Pam Howard works tirelessly for the residency program here at UMich. She is an amazing resource for us, and makes our lives so much easier by helping with all of the administrative aspects of residency. She is always available to listen when a resident is having a bad day. She cooks for us (even vegan things!) and makes toys for our pets and does all sorts of other amazing things that go above and beyond her job description. She makes being a resident here so much better!”

“Pam always goes above and beyond to ensure the residents are doing well and taken care of. From managing our licensing paperwork to bringing us baked goods daily during the Lombardy schedule, she has helped all of us navigate residency especially through these tough times. She always advocates for the residents and our well-being.”

Pam Howard at her retirement party.“Pam is an amazing support to the residents. She is incredibly competent, always on top of everything, and actively anticipates things the residents might need and helps us with them even if we don't know/remember ourselves. She looks out for our well being, frequently bringing us delicious treats to keep morale up, and when COVID19 hit us, she sewed masks for all of the residents. She's awesome!”

Dr. Michael Bachman, who was previously a resident in our department and now serves as the associate director of our clinical microbiology laboratory, joins in wishing Pam well, “Pam’s work as the Residency Coordinator in Pathology has left her fingerprints all over the department. Residents who became fellows who became faculty have all been impacted positively by Pam. Although Pam may not be around the department as she enjoys her rightful retirement, her legacy lives on in all of those who she touched.  She will be missed dearly throughout the entire Pathology department. Thank you Pam for making sure every day was filled with a laugh and a smile.”It has truly been a pleasure working with her and I will miss her dearly! I wish Pam a heartfelt congratulations on her much desired retirement!”

Goldner sums up all of our thoughts, “Pam will be very hard to replace. I’m so happy for her, her retirement is so well deserved! I wish her all the best and she will certainly be missed.”