In Their Own Words

Tulane School of Medicine students answer the question, "What is it like to go to medical school in New Orleans?"

Akingbola BolajiBolaji Akingbola

"As a New Orleans native who attended undergrad and grad school outside of the state of Louisiana, I was very excited to be back in my home city for medical school. Tulane and New Orleans make for a one of a kind experience, and I could not be happier here. Getting to relearn and experience the city with my classmates has been a wonderful experience. Between the food, music, and festivals there is hardly a dull moment in the city. TUSOM also does a great job of encouraging their students to become a part of the New Orleans community through volunteering and service opportunities throughout the greater metro area. One of my favorite experiences at Tulane so far has been volunteering and being a student leader at one the student-run clinics. As a medical student the basic science curriculum will always keep you busy and stressed out at times. However, being a “regular person” every once in a while by attending a great New Orleans event like Jazzfest or remembering why it is you want to be a doctor in the first place while volunteering at a TUSOM student run clinic, helps being a medical student a less daunting task."


Carnabatu ChristopherChristopher Carnabatu

"I am hard pressed to find a city and medical school as captivating as New Orleans and Tulane. From the moment I arrived in NOLA, I felt an atmosphere that was distinctly upbeat, relaxed, and more than anything, genuine. One has to visit New Orleans to fully understand and experience how this city, by a seemingly innocent tug, ultimately grabs a hold of your heart. Tulane is no different. Whether you have a meeting with any of our faculty members or randomly bump into them at the local grocery store, you notice the same down-to-earth kind of authenticity so uniquely New Orleanian. The same applies to our student body and the many doctors who call Tulane and NOLA home. Like the rich culture and historic background of New Orleans, Tulane prides itself on creating a long and distinguished pedigree of physicians, a heritage I am truly honored to be part of. The community we serve further enriches our identity as a medical school. A major part of this relationship stems from Tulane's student-run health clinics that provide us with the opportunity to both better understand our patients' needs and expand on our skillset. From a more emotionally charged perspective, these clinics reignite our own passion for pursuing medicine and ultimately remind us of why we embarked on this difficult yet fulfilling journey. Because words are limited in their capacity to fully relate these experiences and emotions, I encourage everyone interested in Tulane to come down for a visit and have your heart captured the same way New Orleans captured ours."


Hess AnnieAnnie Hess

"Attending medical school in one of the liveliest cities is like no other academic experience. I have immediately felt like a part of this close-knit community, rather than being tied to a desk studying. Tulane encourages you to get to know your surroundings, meet patients in the student clinics, and give back to your new home. There is always a festival, a concert, or something knew to explore all of which add to the well-rounded medical education you get in New Orleans."


honda michelleMichelle Honda

"During my time at Tulane, New Orleans has become a nurturing home. I have been surrounded by other students who want, not only to help patients, but to help one another, and that made the adjustment to medical school enjoyable. The mentality here is one of collaboration. By helping other students become better doctors, we make stronger our Tulane community, and also all the communities served by TUSoM alumni. This support from my peers has been bested only by the inspiration I’ve gained from the Tulane faculty, who lead by example in their devotion to serving the people of New Orleans. Working alongside them in clinic has undoubtedly shaped my understanding of diversity and the need for compassionate health care workers who treat patients of all walks of life, without judgement. As a bookish kid growing up in the suburbs, I’d never had conversations with drug addicts, the homeless, or those who’ve been incarcerated. At any given clinic shift I might encounter all three, sometimes all manifested in one patient, and I’m learning how and when I can use my knowledge and resources to address some of their troubles. It isn’t always easy or straight forward, but the steadfastness of my TUSoM home has supported and therefore emboldened me to step out of my comfort zone and try my best. I know that by doing so, I will become a better doctor, prepared for the challenges ahead, whether in New Orleans or beyond."


Kessler RaymondRaymond Kessler

"Upon learning I would be going to school in New Orleans I found myself at once overwhelmingly intimidated. Intimidated by a culture and a history so far different from anything I had experienced. I came down, moved in, and found that I had forgotten, in my preconceived notions, a crucial piece of what makes New Orleans such a special place; it is a city of insiders. It is a city that will take you in and accept you unconditionally if you give it the chance. Being inextricably linked to the city in which it resides, Tulane shares this rare and delightful quality. It pulls you in and takes your hand and shows you every quirky cubbyhole of what you’re now a part of. It leaves you wanting more and never disappointed, as a new experience just happens to be around the next bend. What is it like going to school in New Orleans? It’s coming home to a place you didn’t even know you missed. It’s looking around and knowing you’re connected to your peers by more than just happenstance of time and circumstance. And for me, it’s waking up every morning with a living reminder of why working so hard is so very worth it."


Kobashigawa ErinErin Kobashigawa

"What I love most about this city is the overwhelming sense of community everywhere you go. It may be partially due to southern hospitality, but it also comes from a feeling of ownership and pride of who this city is, what she has been through, and how we are pulling together to rebuild and improve. These feelings are infectious and I certainly caught the bug. On top of this community feel, New Orleans is filled with music, laughter, and great food. They don't call it the Big Easy for nothing! To an outsider, it may seem that going to med school with all of this going on around you may be distracting. On the contrary, it enriches our learning experience by giving us unparalleled hands on experience within the community and a constant reminder of why we are going into medicine - to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and help people/communities heal. We work really hard in school, but we are able to play hard as well. I have been able to play intramural sports with classmates, eat my way through the free weekend festivals, dance down Frenchmen Street, and catch up with friends at Audubon Park. My quality of life throughout my time at Tulane has been extraordinary, even in the face of the challenges of med school. Personal happiness has enhanced my ability to empathize with patients, reaffirmed my motivations for going into medicine, and preserved my individuality. I couldn’t think of a better place to be for my medical training."


Kream ElizabethElizabeth Kream

"Tulane immerses you in a rich education--one that extends beyond the classroom to the community. One of my favorite components is the students themselves. Tulane chooses some of the brightest, kindest, and dynamic students. Between bonding over a late-night pho study break in Matas library, celebrating a block's end with class grill-outs on the Mississippi river, or working together to care for a patient at one of our free-clinics, your colleagues quickly become your best friends. I often forget how much work I'm doing, because I'm surrounded by friends who make what we are working towards fun and engaging. The faculty here are no different. You get the feel here that they genuinely care for you and are invested in your personal and professional success. They're passionate about what they're teaching but also about this city. Our neuroscience professor is a very talented musician who performs in a weekly show at the Saint Hotel and on any given week there is a group of us there sipping on Sazeracs and cheering him on. Tulane and the city of New Orleans are so intertwined. When I told family members or friends I chose to come to school down here, there eyes would light up and a different tale of this magical city would usually follow. They'd tell me about the beignets, going to Jazz Fest, the Super Bowl, or if they knew me well--the oyster happy hours. It's been quite a treat finding my own place in New Orleans and I guarantee that as a med school student at Tulane you will not only get a special understanding of what a treasure this city is but you'll also be a treasured member of this city."


Memari MiladMilad Memari

"I love being at a place where students are encouraged to make an impact in every way, from our student clinics to our curriculum to the admissions process itself. I wouldn’t have believed you if you had told me how helpful the students are to one another here, and the utter lack of a cut-throat competitive atmosphere among the students. There’s a genuine sense of collaboration and helpfulness among the students, which allows us to focus on the things we want to do as part of our experience here. Being able to serve as our OSR Rep, curriculum committee member, and as a clinic leader for New Orleans Mission has made my medical school experience about much more than the coursework present at every school. Tulane is about much more than that and I am very proud to be a student at such a well-rounded institution."