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Joyce Litchfield

photo of Joyce Litchfield

Administrative Assistant, Graduate Medical Education, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas

“I knew that after a 27-year marriage ended, I needed a job that not only offered more pay but also made me feel like I was really contributing to society in some way. In the early 1980s, my husband in the Army was transferred to a new duty station during my senior year of college. I decided to put family first and education somewhere down the list.

Now that I was on my own, and with the kids grown and out of the nest, I needed to go back to school and finally make time for me. I found out about Medical Staff Services, and my curiosity was piqued.

“I had a background as a 911 dispatcher and criminal investigations clerk and enjoyed that administrative side of police work. I thought, ‘I’m sure that medically there’s a need to “police” what doctors do, to see if they’re really qualified to do surgery and write prescriptions.’ I didn’t even know this job existed or was so detailed.

“Once I found out about this major at El Centro, I came to feel that it was similar to police investigations but in the medical profession. It gives you an opportunity to know the backgrounds of people working in this profession and to verify that they have the credentials they say they have.

Cindy Gassiot is my favorite professor in the world; I love her. She’s great to talk to and always has an answer to your questions. She’s always very responsive and gets back to your e-mails right away, even if it’s a holiday. Having helped give birth to this medical credentialing job, she has seen it go from strictly a clerical position to the national level that it is today. She is a great source of knowledge for this profession and truly a great and humble educator. I greatly appreciate her.

Curtis Pullman is a fantastic professor also. He gives you constant updates so that you know where you stand, and he explains things in concepts that anyone can understand. I had problems with flow charts, and he took the time to explain them for me. He is very patient and kind and makes time for his students.

“I work as an administrative assistant in the Graduate Medical Education Department at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and my boss, Anne Roberts, is the medical affairs director. This department includes both medical staff services and graduate medical education. I have four classes left and have achieved A’s on all class work except Medical Law, where I got a B. My goal is to move into a medical staff services position, when the time is right.”

Joyce Litchfield previously worked as a police dispatcher, administrative assistant at a paper company and as the front office intake for a pain management clinic. She was also licensed as an X-ray technician. She is earning an associate degree in Medical Staff Services from El Centro College.