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Academic Curriculum


Core Education Conference

Surgery resident core education conference is held every Tuesday afternoon from 5:00-6:30 pm.  Topics align with online SCORE curriculum weekly assigned reading material. The first half of the conference session is dedicated to presentations by mid-level residents about the weekly topic; the resident works ahead of time with a faculty moderator with expertise in the topic to prepare the presentation. The second half of the conference, led by a faculty member, is dedicated to either a review of SESAP questions or oral-boards-style review questioning of senior residents.


Morbidity and Mortality Conference

M&M is held every Friday morning from 7:00-8:00 am. The senior resident from each service presents their cases for the week and briefly discusses any complications with the rest of the residents and faculty. A single prior case or topic selected for further discussion for educational benefit is then presented by a resident in a standardized format. Evaluation of outcomes and review of evidenced-based recommendations is prioritized.


Grand Rounds

GR is held every Friday morning directly following M&M. Speakers include frequent visiting professors of national and international prominence, including several endowed lectureships. A wide variety of subjects pertinent to surgery are covered including clinical topics, basic and translational science, educational development, professionalism and leadership.



Our program has a robust simulation experience to augment resident education. Residents participate in simulated clinical procedures in our sim lab through a dedicated simulation curriculum consistent of protected time from 9:00-11:00am on Fridays to attend educational sessions in small groups in the simulation center from faculty instructors. Residents receive instruction in Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) and Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) and are able to complete their certification at our Simulation Center.

Robotics Curriculum – Our robotics curriculum starts with online courses and basic training certificates that all residents complete to be able to safely operate the DaVinci Robot, these are universal and transferable across all hospitals. We then have dedicated simulation exercises for the beginning residents, which will translate to improved experience on cases as upper level residents. The curriculum includes information on positioning and trocar placement strategy, safety, economy of motion, and more. We even have an advanced curriculum with the goal of complete DaVinci Robotics certification by the end of residency that can be transferred to future fellowship locations and practices.

Prior to beginning PGY1 year, all of our interns complete a robust preparatory curriculum including an intern “boot camp” at the Sim Center including didactics on clinical and professionalism topics and technical skills. Interns also complete the ACS Fundamentals of Surgery online case curriculum prior to beginning intern year.
Additionally, all interns complete Advanced Trauma Life Support certification at the beginning of their intern year and complete the ATLS Instructor course by the end of PGY2 year. The Tulane Simulation Center offers monthly provider courses in which our faculty and residents provide instruction. All categorical residents PGY2 and above teach ATLS at least annually. Our program holds various advanced courses for our residents including ASSET, advanced ultrasound techniques, and other surgical labs.


Residents as Teachers

One of the pillars of our culture is the motto “Each One, Teach One.” We feel strongly that development of teaching skills is a fundamental component of surgical resident education and we have developed our Residents as Teachers curriculum to emphasizes this, including weekly clinical topics for student education, resident taught student skills labs and surgical labs, resident teaching for ATLS and Stop the Bleed courses, and culture which encourages senior residents to teach junior residents in clinic, on rounds and in the operating room. Our residents become excellent educators and often win teaching awards from their medical students.



All residents must engage in scholarly activity during their training; however, a dedicated research year is not required. For residents who are interested, there is an option to take dedicated research time; this option is flexible and may be utilized for 1 or 2 years after either PGY2 or PGY3. There are many opportunities for research here at Tulane in both basic science and clinical research. Residents who choose to remain at Tulane for their research time are funded through the department. Residents may choose to conduct specialized research at another institution; these positions are externally funded.

Most residents conduct research projects without taking dedicated research time; all are encouraged and guided in their research pursuits by faculty mentors. The department funds travel for resident research presentations at regional, national and international meetings. Residents may also choose to take dedicated time off during training to pursue other opportunities for professional development such as critical care fellowship, masters degrees, etc.  


Quality Improvement Program

We provide all of our residents a structured curriculum in Quality and Patient Safety which includes relevant didactics woven into our conference schedule, online resources and toolkits, and peer-group collaboration by small groups of residents guided by faculty mentorship to conceive of, design, and implement quality improvement projects. As residents progress through the program, they develop progressive mastery of knowledge and skill that culminates in their ability to lead their teams through the QI process.


Additional Learning Resources

Supplemental materials available to the residents for basic science and clinical education include access to the SCORE question bank, the TrueLearn question bank, and Selected Readings in General Surgery, as well as a dedicated surgery resident library with hard copies of a variety of surgical textbooks and journals and online access to an extensive collection of surgical textbooks and journals through the school of medicine library.