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Academic Programs

There are many good residency programs in the US, but none quite like Tulane University. Nowhere else will you find the combination of educational innovation, patient diversity, research excellence, career advancement and life fulfillment. It is the reason that Tulane now sits in the top tier of all national training programs.

If you are thinking that “Every program has something good, but it seems that no program has everything I want.” Well, I’m with you... I used to think that too. But after years of effort, we have finally built the perfect program: the program where nothing is sacrificed, and excellence in one area only augments excellence in others. This program is Tulane. This TEAM is Tulane. We invite you to have a look around the website to learn about our remarkable story. If you are short on time, let me give you the quick 411 on the Eleven Things You Should Know About Tulane.

1. The Highest Quality Residents

There is no program that matches the quality of the Tulane Team. Many programs have smart residents, but few, if any, have the combination of the intelligence and the collegiality of the Tulane resident. The Tulane Team is composed of “real people”…. people with whom you will want to be friends. And this is important… because most of your training will not be spent in lectures or with faculty; most of your time will be spent with your fellow residents. Life’s too short to be stuck with unhappy, disgruntled or boring people. While Tulane’s admission standards are competitive, the final decision in selecting the Tulane resident is based upon an applicant’s character and capacity for teamwork… far more so than board scores or grades. Check out our admissions standards and the admissions process to see how Tulane guarantees that its team is composed of only the finest people. The last five years have been the best match classes in Tulane history, with residents from all over the United States. You will find great diversity among the Tulane Team: our 100 residents represent over 42 different US medical schools, and comprise a blend of races, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations. And that should be important to you, for the Tulane motto holds truth: “Requisite for being a great physician is being a great person… and requisite for being a great person is not just tolerating diversity, but embracing it.”

2. Excellent Faculty

Tulane’s Department of Medicine has 177 faculty devoted to the training of the Tulane Team. More impressive is the nature of these faculty members. The Tulane wards are staffed by a core of Teaching Hospitalists, each of whom has been recruited not only for his or her clinical aptitude, but also for his or her teaching excellence. As hospitalists, they do not have clinics or procedures for which they must hurriedly leave the wards: they have the liberty to spend extra time providing education not only during attending rounds, but also during the afternoon. Procedures at Tulane, for example, are directly supervised by faculty hospitalists to ensure that you learn the safe and effective methods of each procedure. Our teaching hospitalist team is a young, energetic team, comprising the same diversity as that of the resident team. The added benefit of teaching hospitalists is that it frees up our subspecialty faculty for more time to devote to teaching the Tulane resident the content and procedures of their specialty during subspecialty elective months. And of course, each faculty has added time to devote to mentoring Tulane residents’ research projects. With faculty like this, its no wonder that the Tulane Team has enjoyed an unparalleled fellowship match rate, career placement, and research productivity.

3. Patient Diversity: Our Three Hospitals

The strength of Tulane has always been in the patients for whom we provide care. The Tulane Team provides service for Tulane Hospital, Charity Hospital, and the VA medical center, three of the four largest medical services in Orleans Parish. This combination of training opportunities provides not only diversity in patient demographics (race, religion, socio-economic status), but also diversity of disease and severity of disease. The Tulane resident consistently manages diseases that residents from other programs only read about, and sees diseases that most of the country considers to be only of historical significance. And then there are the clinics… we have expanded our patient-care mission by building community-based clinics: bringing medicine to the people, instead of asking the people to come to medicine.

4. Resident Ownership, Autonomy & Flexibility

Responsibility evolves from being put in a position of being responsible. The residents, not the administration, owns the Tulane program; all decisions, big & small, are made by the resident firms. This includes schedules, operations of the clinics, how the firm’s ward service operates, how the firm teaches students, and (believe or not) the match list. We also believe that the responsible resident, more than the administration, knows what is best for her when it comes to designing her schedule. Everyone has a “point B”…. that is, a desired career destination… and responsible residents can quickly figure out what it takes to get to that point B. The Tulane schedule is the most flexible of any program in the country. Interns receive 3 months for electives, and R2’s and R3’s receive 4 to 5. In addition, the Tulane Team owns and operates the nation’s first “4+1” system, enabling you to enter a longitudinal subspecialty clinic from the first day of your internship… establishing mentorship and support from within your chosen field. Each firm has its own “assistant coach” (aka, an associate program director), and its own “concierge mentor” to give you the guidance you need in designing a curriculum that is tailored to your life and career goals. These faculty, like Coach Wiese, see their role as not in determining your point B, but rather in providing you the coaching and support to get you to  “the point B” you choose. Check out how the residents own this team!

5. The Most Innovative Curriculum: The Tulane Friday School Curriculum

If you are tired of power-point lectures in dark rooms, well, we have good news for you. Residency training should not be years 5, 6 and 7 of medical school. No, a residency curriculum should acknowledge that learning medicine should be an active, not a passive process…. And it should emphasize team-work, not merely individual, “one-ups-manship” performance. Finally, a residency curriculum should acknowledge that a resident’s time is precious, and that a resident should never be put in the position of choosing between caring for her patient and attending a lecture. For all of these reasons, we dispensed with the tired-old, dark-room, power-point laden, boring noon-conference concept. Instead, we laid down a commitment to resident education in the form of FRIDAY & MONDAY SCHOOLS. There are no noon conferences at Tulane- during the noon hour, residents are free to continue with a great teaching session on attending rounds, or get an early start on completing patient management plans laid out during attending rounds. Each Friday afternoon, every intern in the program has four hours of protected time to participate in an interactive, team-based curriculum where they solve “mystery vignettes” in a create-your-own mystery competition. The residents have their own protected time for the upper-level curriculum on Monday afternoons. Learning should be fun… and Friday School is just that. Check it out… it’s the best thing going, and its no wonder that there is 100% voluntary attendance.

The “4+1” System, and CAS. While the rest of the world lamented the constraints of the duty hours regulations, Tulane found the solution: “The “4+1” System eliminates the waste and fragmentation inherent in the “standard residency program,” allowing residents to fulfill their patient responsibilities in a system that is 100% compliant with the ACGME duty hours regulations without resorting to excessive work intensity. Indeed, Tulane was the first residency program to be 100% compliant with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations, and since the ACGME duty hours requirements are much less stringent that the IOM's, you know you are in compliance with the ACGME if you are at Tulane. But more important than ACGME compliance is the fact that great performance comes from residents who are relaxed, rested and who can focus. The brilliance of the Tulane system is that it enables all three, without resorting to complicated shift changes and increased work intensity.  

6. Research Opportunities Abound

Research opportunities abound at Tulane. In addition to the nine fully-accredited and fully-functional subspecialty sections, Tulane offers the added benefits of The Tulane Cancer Center, The Tulane Abdominal Transplant Institute, The Tulane Primate Center, The Hayward Genetics Center, The Center for Bioenvironmental Research, and over 15 other centers for research excellence. And with the undergraduate campus in town, residents can also take advantage of the research and courses offered at the Tulane undergraduate campus. As one of the largest NIH recipients in the south, there is no question that you will have the opportunity to pursue a research project of your choosing. In the past five years, Tulane’s NIH-supported research has grown over 30%, one of the fastest growing research institutions in the country. The K-award training series will teach you the fundamentals of research right up to how to write a grant. Indeed, one third of our intern class will use one of their elective months to start their research project. The world-renowned Tulane School of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, the global health track, the Piper Fellowship, and the Fogarty Fellowship combine to provide residents interested in academic global health careers to get an early start to their career. With research projects occurring around the globe, this is a unique opportunity to be involved in international research. The Tulane faculty is also engaged in health services research, outcomes-based research, clinical effectiveness and quality/patient safety (our hospitalists’ research agenda) and educational research. If you have the interest, Tulane will take you there. Want proof? Check out our publications….Over the past five years, The Tulane Residency has had over 350 regional and national presentations by residents. Last year, 32 residents made the trip to the National SGIM meeting; 27 residents presented at the National SHM meeting, and another 22 presenting at national subspecialty conferences. All of this is made possible by the opportunities to do research at Tulane, the curriculum of learning research basics, the concierge mentor program, and the program’s commitment to paying the way to the national meeting if you are accepted for publication. If you are looking for a great academic career, or a great fellowship, this is the key: you have to be well trained, you have to have teaching skills, and you have to have shown that you can occupy a place in the scientific conversation (i.e., research). Research is the key, and with the strong research opportunities and mentorship at Tulane, this can be yours.

7. Teaching Excellence

Tulane is about training world-class academic leaders. We know that not every graduating resident will choose a career in academics, but we want every resident to have the skills to have that option when the time comes. Tulane residents are taught to teach (or should I say, coach) like no other residency program in the country. Dr. Wiese is one of the premier medical educators in the US, having authored five books on education, and having presented over 300 seminars at a national and international level on how to teach effectively. Coach Wiese serves as the personal mentor for each resident as they perfect their teaching skills. An organized curriculum, multiple opportunities for direct feedback on their teaching skills, and multiple opportunities to teach first, second, third and fourth-year students combine to make the Tulane resident one of the finest educators by the time she graduates. Teaching is the right thing… not only because it furthers the art, but also because it precisely defines what a physician (i.e., the one doing the teaching) knows and does not know. With this awareness, the great teacher becomes an even better clinician. And that’s what happens at Tulane, and that’s why Tulane graduates are sought after upon their graduation.

8. Career Advancement

As the fifteenth oldest medical school in the US, Tulane has enjoyed a renowned reputation for two centuries. Combine Tulane’s name recognition with the national recognition of the Tulane resident’s excellent clinical training, research skills, teaching excellence and collegiality, and it is no wonder that 100% of Tulane residents entering the fellowship match found a program of choice. Check out where our residents match. Or perhaps you are thinking about a career in Hospital Medicine or Primary Care. There is no program to offer you the career trajectory like Tulane! 

9. Riding on the City of New Orleans

The Big Easy Is Still the Greatest City on Earth. Since the 17th century, New Orleans has been a bastion of culture and diversity, and that definitely continues today. Whether it be great performing arts, incredible music, elaborate festivals, tasty food, year-round outdoor activities, professional sports or just the freedom to find yourself, no city matches New Orleans. Once again, we believe that requisite for being a great physician is being a great person, and there are few places better to develop yourself than the Big Easy. In addition to being a city of unique character, New Orleans is also a renewed city: the public schools were voted the most improved in the US in 2009, housing is affordable and easy to come by, and the festivals march on. Check out the residents’ votes for the best things to do in New Orleans, and why we love this city so much.

10. A Program With a Philosophy

A residency program should be more than a series of lectures and clinical assignments… didn’t you get enough of that in medical school? Residency should be about developing the virtues of the great physician, and it should have an underlying philosophy that ensures this development. Developing autonomy, responsibility, stewardship, and a sense of social justice… these are the products of the philosophy that underlies the Tulane method. Check out the mission statement of our program, especially if you are that special type of person who really wants to make a difference in your life… not later, but now.

11. Development of the Person Within You

The central tenet of the Tulane Program is this, “Requisite for being a great physician, is being a great person.” The efficiency of the Tulane system will enable you to have ample time to keep that “hobby box”... all of those things that make you uniquely you… alive. The exposure to diversity, both in the way of your patients, the city, and your colleagues, will expose you to new ideas and interests. And the curriculum itself will expand your horizons and improve you as a person. Check out the CAS curriculum (Curriculum of Additional Skills)…A half day of protected time that occurs every four weeks throughout your time at Tulane. In Oxford style, Dr. Wiese personally runs this curriculum that will introduce you to the literature, philosophy, music, and art that will expand how your see the world, and how you see your practice of the profession. Enlightenment is our goal, and enlightened you will be.

Thanks again for checking out the Tulane Team. I hope you’ll take the time to visit Historic New Orleans and to meet first-hand the incredible people that comprise our Tulane team. I know you will enjoy New Orleans and I definitely know you’ll enjoy meeting our team. If the message and philosophy of this website speaks to you, I look forward to the prospect of being your coach.

See you soon….

Jeff Wiese, M.D.
Program Director (Coach) of the Tulane Internal Medicine Team