Tulane Internal Medicine Residency, Program Information

Board Pass Rate

Tulane’s Categorical board pass rate last year was 100%.... Indeed, it has been 100% nine of the last thirteen years. Once all of Tulane’s combined programs (med-psych, med-neuro, med-peds, etc) are factored in, the overall board pass rate is 92%, due in large part to the difficulty of having to study for two boards simultaneously.

And this record could have been 13 of 13 years with a 100% board pass rate had it not been for the Hurricane Katrina, which decreased the number of patients our residents saw in the 2007 to 2010 years. This is no commentary on the quality of the resident who trained at Tulane during these difficult years…. You’ll find no higher moral fiber than that Team. But it is to say that the post-Katrina cohort of residents was at a disadvantage in not having the patient experiences that the residents that came before them, and our current residents, currently enjoy. The result is that Tulane’s board pass rate did take a dip in the washout of the post-Katrina years…. But all of that has returned to normal now, and Tulane is proud to have returned to its 100% categorical board pass rate.

When I came to Tulane ten years ago, I immediately re-focused the curriculum on the ABIM objectives that appear on the In-Service Training Examinations (ITE) hat each Tulane resident takes each year. Once I had those in hand, I set out to build a curriculum around these objectives. The result is what you see in the Friday School and Monday School curricula. But step that up a notch even further with the advent of Phadrus, an ingenious system that tracks what you do on a day-to-day basis, and alerts you to what you need to know to not only fill in your “blind spots” of medical knowledge, but also alerts you to what you need to know to advance the best care of the patients on your service.

And add to that one of Tulane’s newest innovations in the CAS curriculum for the residents. Each week (during the CAS sessions) one of the five firms spends four hours with me reviewing not questions that MKSAP or someone else wrote… but questions that they have written. Each resident submits two to four questions he/she has composed, and then the firm takes their shot at getting the question right. The firm then debates what makes the question good or bad, and how the question could be even better. Through the exercise, the residents learn not only the “right answer”, but also valuable lessons in why the other three “wrong answers” (i.e., the distractors) were wrong…. Making each question the equivalent of four lessons. Firm members also learn the “psychology of question writing” (taking that out of the equation come board time). And of course, along the way, there is the expected amount of hazing and trash talking (should one of your colleagues, for example, through out the ridiculously easy, or absurdly trivial question). It sounds crazy, but these question sessions is more like a game than a curriculum… it’s the most fun you are going to have learning medicine, I promise you!

So, how do you get 100% board pass rate? Simple, you attend the Friday School/Monday School series (your time will be protected each and every week to do so), show up to Afternoon Delight, participate in the “game” of question writing during the CAS sessions, and over three years you complete your Phadrus cues. If you do this, I guarantee 100% board pass rate.