With the future of health care in flux, medical students, faculty and staff brought their questions and concerns to Dr. Benjamin Sachs’ Town Hall talks on Nov. 13 and 14. Sachs is dean of the Tulane University School of Medicine.
“The quality of Tulane students and their scores are extraordinary and that places them in good standing for excellent residency placement,” said Dr. Benjamin Sachs. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
The recent state Medicaid cuts, healthcare reform, decisions regarding the Affordable Care Act and the implications on residency programming and research were hot topics discussed during the latest round of meetings.
Town Hall talks are conducted throughout the year to communicate important issues with the medical school community.
Sachs said it is important to communicate one-on-one because often these complex political, federal and state issues create confusion.
During the meeting students expressed concern about local residency positions being affected by statewide cuts.
Although approximately 35 residency positions (total 460) will be relocated to Tulane University Hospital, the school is committed to meeting the associated financial challenges and delivering the same high standard of graduate medical education, Sachs said.
“We have also taken similar steps to ensure that our medical students continue to receive first-class education. Nationally, competition over the number of residency positions remains intense but recent Tulane scores on the United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE Step 1 and Step 2) are higher than ever,” Sachs said.
As the medical school handles challenges within an ever-changing healthcare climate, Sachs explains that it continues to push innovation and change.
He outlined some exciting programs to look forward to in the future such as the new HEAL-X: PhD to MD program and a dramatically expanded primary care base.
“My hope is that the audiences walked away knowing that the school is proactive in meeting challenges and thinking about the future. Everyone in the United States is having challenges in health care. This is not just a local problem. Tulane is a great place to be,” said Sachs.