Tulane Resident and Fellow Congress connects trainees and leaders to improve learning experience

The time spent in residency and fellowship is a formative part of every physician’s career, and every trainee wants the best possible learning and living experience during those years. The Tulane Resident and Fellow Congress (TRFC) is the resident and fellows’ voice to ensure the Office of Graduate Medical Education’s (GME) mission of striving for excellence in education is collaboratively informed by trainee’s experiences. With interns, residents, and fellows working in facilities across the state, TRFC representatives act as a direct line to promote communication and collaboration between trainees and GME leadership.

“It’s important to have a diverse group of elected representatives who can communicate experiences and concerns of those they represent to GME,” said Leslie Miller, this year’s TRFC president. “TRFC’s aim is to advocate for improvements that need to be made based on most recent trainee experiences. Our goal is to work together to improve the learning environment and achieve our shared goals.”

“We’re in constant communication with administration and trainees at different levels and specialties, which helps to facilitate advocacy for trainees’ and communicating their concerns to administration. We also serve to help guide trainees in the right direction of who concerns would be most effectively addressed. TRFC is also an opportunity for us to provide praise to administration when they accomplish goals we support.”

Miller has big goals for this year. She’s currently working with GME to explore ways to supplement income for trainees to help offset the increasing cost of living and inflation. Another goal is to hold more regular social events for all Tulane residents and fellows. The TRFC has a yearly budget that can fund social events and other needs of trainees where additional funding is unavailable.

“We want to encourage inter-specialty, multidisciplinary, collaborative patient care,” said Miller. “If you meet someone from a different program in a social setting, you’re more likely to reach out and communicate with them in a clinical setting, hopefully leading to more collaborative and interdisciplinary care for our patients.”

Applications to be a TRFC representative are open now through July 15 at 5pm, and the TRFC is open to all interns, residents and fellows. To apply, click here.

“We want people from different specialties at different levels of training to be represented, so we can get a more comprehensive idea of how to improve the learning experience,” said Miller. “I want to encourage people - even if they don’t decide to run for TRFC - to make sure they know who their representatives are, keep open communication with them, and hold them accountable for representing trainees in their program. We encourage representatives to give regular updates to their programs and encourage them to give feedback on what we can do better, but also what they want us to continue to do to support them.”