Nichole Rauch, Medical Program Assistant, Department of Surgery

Nichole RauchWhat is your role?
I am a Medical Program Assistant and I work in the Department of Surgery in the Division of Otolaryngology. In my role, I support multiple faculty and staff, including the divisional chair in Otolaryngology, as well as one of the vice chairs of research in the department, the PhD’s and their labs, and the Speech Language Pathologists.

When did you start working in SMPH?  
I started working for the Department of Surgery in January of 2006! I started in the department at the reception desk. The following year, I started as a medical program assistant in the division of Otolaryngology and I have been there ever since!

How has your work changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Wow! Lots and LOTS of virtual meetings was the most major change from typically having everything in person. I have become more independent in my work. I feel fortunate that I was able to work throughout the pandemic with remote work, which helped it feel somewhat normal during the stressful times of the pandemic. I was also still going on site once in a while so that helped with still having some face-to-face time with those I support and my colleagues.

What does a typical day look like for you?
Each day is different! A typical day includes a lot of verbal and email communication as well as scheduling meetings for multiple people. I like to be as timely as possible on correspondences to ensure that my faculty are taken care of. In my position I do an array of tasks from coordinating some of our divisional conferences, including one that is international, as well as building clinic templates and reimbursements.

What is your workplace superpower?
Organization! With my position, you need to be super organized and be able to prioritize your work since there are so many different areas that I cover in my position. Setting deadlines for myself and others are a must in my role.

What is something personal you keep on your desk?
Art that I have created. I may also have an abundance of photos of my family as well as my puppy son, Flexo, on hand, too.

Where are you from originally?
Born and raised here in southern Wisconsin.

What is your favorite place to spend time in Madison? In the world?
Madison would be at the Terrace with co-workers. Anywhere with my husband and Flexo. We love renting lake houses in the summer, sitting around a bonfire, or floating in our pool.

What 1-2 books, articles, or podcasts, can you recommend to your SMPH colleagues?
I love thrillers and romance novels. For podcasts, anything true crime!

Share one fact about yourself that you co-workers might not be aware of.
Hmm…I am a pretty open book to my coworkers! But right before the pandemic, I tried out my hand at exploring my artistic side so I started to paint and have not stopped since. This is something that has really helped me get through the stress of the pandemic — where I can just be in my comfort zone creating beautiful pieces. Also, a fun fact is that Rosie O’Donnell actually commented on one of my paintings that was featured on Instagram. That was pretty rad! I have been featured in the Ebling’s Corpus Callosum a couple of times and as well as just wrapped up my second art exhibit at the University Hospital this past April!