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Update for the Tulane Medicine Community

March 11, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

On March 2, I wrote to inform you that I had offered to restore Dr. Dennar as program director of the Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program. The proposal was made with the genuine hope that we could find a path forward to provide additional support and resources to ensure the success of the program, its residents and Dr. Dennar in the role of program director.  

The effective training of our residents, however, is and must be our highest priority. Given the concerns identified in the special report and the resulting recommendations made by the GMEC, it was clear that the additional steps identified in my earlier letter were needed for the Med-Peds program. Because Dr. Dennar stated that she cannot accept the offer, I was left no choice but to accept the unanimous and unequivocal recommendation of the GMEC. Dr. Dennar remains a valued faculty member in the School of Medicine.

I would also like to recognize that this has been an extremely difficult, confusing and frustrating time for our community, especially given that we have only been able to share limited information. Although we do not – and cannot – share private information about personnel matters, we have been able to address some of the most frequently asked questions. This information is posted on the Tulane University website. I hope you will find this helpful in addressing questions you may have had.

The value of continuing to strengthen our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion is unquestioned. We know that no medical school can achieve true greatness or properly train the next generation of physicians without welcoming and supporting students, residents, faculty and staff from all backgrounds. Nothing is more critical to the future of our school than building such an academic community. This is why we are continually striving to increase the diversity of students, residents, faculty and staff from Black and other underrepresented communities and why many of the steps suggested in Dr. Dennar’s open letter are already either part of our approach, are being addressed in other ways or will soon be implemented.

We continue our critical work towards building a just, more welcoming and supportive community that values all members. As was promised a few weeks ago, the Office of the Provost will soon be announcing an EDI review with external consultants, which will include:

  • Confidential focus groups, interviews, surveys and training to deepen our understanding of the lived experiences of our residents, faculty, staff and students relative to racism and sexism
     
  • Targeted recommendations to help build a more inclusive, equitable and diverse academic community

This work will be designed to both review the current state of racial and gender equity in the school and to help us to identify actions we can take immediately to better support our community. I strongly encourage each of you to participate in this important and constructive work, which will be an essential step in our journey to creating a more equitable, diverse and inclusive community at the School of Medicine.

Lee Hamm, senior vice president and dean, School of Medicine