The Tulane Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship ensures that all fellows receive an accredited educational experience of the highest quality. As part of that responsibility, we firmly believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion in our fellowship program improves education, provides opportunities for community engagement, and creates better-trained physicians.
We are a work in progress. Tulane doctors have been caring for the people of New Orleans and the surrounding areas since 1834. Our complex history is filled with examples when we have proudly served our community and painful examples of when we have fallen short. We recommit to developing and growing a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of race, of gender, of religious belief, of national origin, of ethnicity, of age, of ability, and of sexual orientation found in the unique community and culture of New Orleans.
We seek to understand and invest resources into recruiting, supporting, and retaining a diverse physician workforce that includes members from groups that have been historically marginalized and underrepresented in medicine. In doing so, we understand the importance of providing a training environment intolerant of discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, gender, religious belief, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. It is our goal that all fellows feel supported and mentored and are provided with equal access to opportunities for professional growth and advancement.
We have taken concrete steps to further these goals. First, we have a panel of faculty who serve as our fellowship Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee. This panel meets regularly to weigh in on all aspects of EDI in our program, including fellow recruitment, fellow-to-faculty retention, and curriculum innovation. Second, we have developed a holistic evaluation scheme for recruitment and ranking of fellows that carefully considers all aspects of an applicant’s portfolio, including what this applicant offers to Tulane in terms of expanding our program’s EDI. Third, we have incorporated a variety of lectures and journal club discussions to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our program’s educational offerings including: “Asian-American perspective in cancer therapy,” “African-American perspectives in heart failure,” “Racial disparities in oncologic treatments,” “LatinX, South-Asian, and African-American perspectives in palliative care,” “Promoting Peaceful Death for Thai Buddhists,” and “Compassionate Release in Prison Populations,” along with implicit bias training for all fellows and leadership in the Tulane HPM Program. Fourth, we have a combined fellowship track with Harvard and UCSF known as the Global Palliative Educational Collaborative (GPEC), in which fellows have monthly lectures on a variety of topics in international health equity and cultural competency and also have a chance to practice in LMIC. These lectures include: “Socio-Cultural Competency from a Navajo Nation Perspective,” “Morphine Access in Southern India,” and “Palliative Care in Humanitarian Crises.” This track provides an additional layer of focus in EDI in our program and serves as an invaluable learning tool in broadening our fellows’ horizons.