Chayan Chakraborti, MD, earned his medical doctorate and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine. He returned after a fellowship at Johns Hopkins, and served as Director of Career Advising, Internal Medicine Clerkship Director, Director of Student Programs and Vice-Chair of Education for the Department of Medicine along with his medical duties as an attending physician. “Dr. C” – as he’s known - was recently named the Associate Dean for Medical Education and Academic Affairs. He talks about the challenges and opportunities in his new role.
How is the School of Medicine changing and adapting following the last couple of years?
Two of the biggest challenges over the last couple of pandemic years have been the shift to online platforms for nearly everything and a more recognized awareness of where people are going for their sources of information. We’ve had to get hip to the idea that a lot of the content is going to be delivered more virtually and that the traditional resources that the School of Medicine has provided in the past are not necessarily the first place our modern learners are going to turn to. There are advantages to the way things have evolved in the last couple of years, and we need to recognize those advantages, harness them, and make those new technologies and frontiers work to our benefit.
What has the School of Medicine been doing in the last few years to make its curriculum more diverse, equitable and inclusive?
We’re going away from models of illness and disease that are predicated upon one demographic, one that doesn’t resemble our population. We can’t say that we heal communities if students aren’t learning the appropriate information that pertains to the demographics of our community. We want to adapt our curriculum and our topics of education and discussion to more accurately reflect the communities we serve.
Are you excited for the upcoming year?
Absolutely. It’s hard to believe the new crop of learners are going to be here in a few days. This is my first season as part of the head coaching team, and I’m really looking forward to this role. I’ve been in medical education and curriculum for a long time now, but there are new challenges that come with this position and those new challenges are exciting.