Tulane University School of Medicine has new incoming leadership in the form of Benjamin Sachs, M.D., the chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston, MA, and an endowed chair professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. While I am sad to see Dr. Lee Hamm step down from his position as interim dean (during which he and his office did a wonderful job of establishing transparency in the progress being made to revitalize the medical school and hospital), I am excited that we are going to have a motivated leader with excellent credentials (and one from the Harvard system of hospitals, from which I have found and spoken with many physicians for whom I have great respect during my days at the college). Much to my expectation and admiration, soon after the announcement of his appointment, he has scheduled a meeting for the second day of classes with my class (the class of 2002). Also, he has sent forth a nice letter to all of the medical students which includes the following excerpt:
At the graduation ceremony last spring I was told that the commencement speaker, Brian Williams, asked all the students that had volunteered to help the region to recover from the storm to stand and be recognized. I understand that almost all the students stood up. One of the parents said to me that one could not pay for this kind of education. The university had instilled into the very souls of the students the concept of public service. In fact, Tulane is the only major research university in the country that has public service as an integrated component of the undergraduate experience. In this environment, the faculty can educate the next generation of physicians not only in the science of medicine but also by example, to truly demonstrate humanitarian values.
Though the hard times are far from over, we have been through the hardest already, and Dr. Sachs arrives at an ideal time for spurring growth and positive change.