The Tulane-Ochsner Pediatric Residency Program is uniquely situated to combine the strengths of New Orleans' major pediatric healthcare systems, giving residents the opportunity to provide Pediatric Healthcare to a diverse population with a wide range of pathologies and socioeconomic needs. Tulane and Ochsner are at the forefront of pediatric training as we actively engage in addressing the major current challenges of our field. As of 2019, we are proud to say that Tulane residents are working at Children's Hospital New Orleans, the only dedicated pediatric inpatient facility in the city.
Race and ethnicity are important determinants of health, independent of poverty and geography. For example, Puerto Rican Americans are far more likely to have asthma than Americans from other backgrounds. Children from Spanish speaking families face additional barriers in accessing care. In the New Orleans area the Spanish-speaking population continues to grow year by year as significant numbers of immigrants from within the US and from other countries migrate to our area. Partnering with organizations such as the Hispanic Resource Center, our residents learn the unique challenges that these families face.
Where you live plays an important role in your health. Beyond differences that stem from socioeconomic variables, living in a rural versus urban location determines how you access healthcare. Within cities, disparities arise from geographical differences such as how flood-prone an area is, and how transportation links families’ resources. To address access to pediatric services, Tulane physicians travel within New Orleans and beyond to build relationships that support childhood health. Examples include an Asthma clinic in New Orleans East, an Allergy Clinic in Plaquemines Parish, a Genetics clinic in Lafayette Parish.
Poverty is a major, long-standing source of health disparities. The stress of poverty has been shown to increase inflammation and worsen clinical outcomes across a range of medical conditions. The new Center for Early Childhood Exposures was formed as collaboration between our department and others at Tulane to characterize the relationship between toxic stressors of poverty, other environmental exposures, and health outcomes for children. Tulane’s section of Adolescent Medicine is one of the finest; reaching patients that otherwise are unable to access medical care, including the homeless youth population in our city.
As the number of children with complex, chronic health conditions grows, a pediatrician’s toolbox must contain knowledge of the ever increasing number of therapies and interventional approaches available. Tulane’s and Ochsner’s various Health Centers provide the experience and education necessary to incorporate these skills into a successful clinical practice. At Tulane, our Cystic Fibrosis Center and Sickle Cell Center provide exceptional care and learning opportunities while treating a complex patient population. Ochsner’s craniofacial team is renowned for providing comprehensive, integrated care to children with complex congenital conditions. Tulane’s Autism Center provides multidisciplinary care for children with developmental disorders.
The combined internal medicine-pediatrics component of our training program provides a unique view into transitions of care. Beyond the med-peds clinic, examples of longitudinal care include Ochsner’s Cardiology team which follows children with serious cardiac malformations from before birth through to adulthood. Tulane’s Haywood Genetics Center, Cystic Fibrosis Center, and Sickle Cell Center likewise demonstrate how children with complex chronic medical conditions grow into healthy adults. Our close relationship with our internal medicine colleagues helps ease the challenge of transitioning the care of children.
The majority of scientific advances in the field of pediatrics are made by pediatrician-scientists. However the field is facing a dwindling number of physicians that conduct research, such that many academic centers have little or no federal funding for research coming into their departments. This points to a lack of mentorship available to train the next generation of physician researchers, a crisis identified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the National Institutes of Health among others. Tulane has a strong history of supporting physician scientists within the department of pediatrics, placing in the top third of departments nationally for NIH funding. This is bolstered also by the strong track record of research at Ochsner, which conducts important research in Cardiology and publishes its own scientific journal.
Regardless of whether or not you intend to pursue research for your career, excellent pediatricians must understand how to make evidence-based decisions for their patients. Our program will provide you opportunities to see this in action through the development of evidence-based quality improvement projects.
It is the intention of the Tulane-Ochsner Pediatric Residency Program to equip our residents not only with the skills required to become excellent clinical Pediatricians, but also to provide a solid foundation of knowledge to pave the way for a flourishing and successful career in whichever direction chosen. Our Subspecialists, Generalists, and Scientists/Physicians are here to teach, support and mentor. Our dedication is to the children and families in our community. We welcome you to explore the possibilities our Pediatric Residency Program has to offer.