<P>tulane.edu/som TULANE | MEDICINE FALL 2013 11 of residency slots for graduates. What are your thoughts about the climate for medical education right now? There are lots of challenges to medical education right now, including the high cost and the limited number of residency slots and some uncertainty regarding exactly what medicine will look like ?ve or 10 years from now. On the other hand, medicine is an extraordinarily attractive profession and nothing really fundamentally is changing that. Yes, there is more bureaucracy than previously. But playing an important role in peoples lives and peoples health—and getting paid to do it—thats not going to change. And there are not enough high-quality, compassionate physicians. So despite these challenges, medicine is in a great position. The AAMC recommended a 30 percent increase in U.S. medical school enrollment by 2015 to meet national physician shortages, especially in primary care. How does this affect Tulane? Well, over the last several years we have increased our class size quite a bit—from between 155 and 160 up to 197 this year. We also have the Baton Rouge campus, which has enabled us to take some of the clinical training of those 190-plus. We have recently added the HEAL-X program, which is an additional cohort of students. So we have, in many ways, done our part in that expansion. This country has been in a crisis for some time in terms of primary care training. The reimbursements for those physicians have been too low, and that has been a component of the shortage. Also we have put too much burden in some ways on the sole primary care physician. We have to have better models for the primary care physician. We need to make primary care attractive. It is increasingly competitive to get into med school. Ive heard that one in every four students applies to Tulane. How has that affected our incoming class? We have an unbelievably large application base. This year it was more than 10,000 for 197 openings. We had an outstanding applicant pool and, for the ?rst time, we took no one from the wait list. From my perspective, our students know that they are going to get a high-quality education that is unique from a very engaged faculty. What are your thoughts on how to address affordability in the current environment? We certainly need more scholarship funds. Scholarships are the chief mechanisms to do that. There will be more prioritization for raising funds for a variety of missions, but one priority will be for scholarships. Just this year we increased our full scholarships to ?ve, thanks to support from the family of philanthropist Jack Aron. He was a big supporter of the school and instrumental in creating Tulane Hospital. His hope was that each recipient pay it forward later in life by contributing back to his scholarship fund. How do you plan to engage alumni? Over the next few months I will be visiting a number of alumni groups across the country. Im looking forward to telling them about our progress. Im optimistic about our future. I think we are going to be more nationally prominent ?ve years from now based on our strengths: education, clinical care, research and our engagement with the community. I also want to hear from our alumni. I want to hear what they think are the most lasting impressions the school has had on them, and which things we need to emphasize to current students. This is a school thats really rich in history. I want them to think about how it remains one of the most distinguished schools— and whats needed to ensure that it stays that way. Dr. Lee Hamm helps evacuate a Tulane Hospital patient in the days after Hurricane Katrina. 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