July 15, 2013 9:00 AM
When Dr. Doug Hildrew decided he wanted to pursue a specialized fellowship at the Tulane University School of Medicine, he never realized that he would help bring a new state-of-the-art lab to Tulane.
Hildrew is entering his fourth year of training in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and was drawn to the subspecialty of otology/neurotology, the study of hearing mechanisms and treatment of neurological disorders of the ear.
“For me, otology/neurotology is the most fascinating surgical field of study. In no other field of medicine can a physician completely restore a sense organ. You can quite literally help someone hear for the very first time,” says Hildrew.
To participate in a very competitive fellowship program, Hildrew would need to master drilling bones of the hearing mechanisms. Although Tulane housed a lab dedicated to that purpose, the equipment needed to be updated.
Hildrew approached faculty members and department chair Dr. Paul Friedlander with the idea of acquiring new equipment for the temporal bone laboratory.
Stryker Corp., a medical device and equipment manufacturer, understood the department’s needs and wanted to aid in its educational mission. With the help of Ryan Meck, senior development officer in corporate and foundation relations at Tulane, Stryker outfitted the lab by donating $150,000 of the latest equipment needed for drilling the delicate bones of the ear.
“This gift from the Stryker Corp. enables us to provide a new educational experience for our residents. This is just a great partnership between institution and industry,” Friedlander says.
Hildrew adds that although residents and students typically don’t identify needs within an institution, the culture of Tulane makes it possible.
“There are not a lot of programs where you can identify something that you need to grow and get better, and everyone rallies around you to make it happen,” Hildrew says.
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