Senior medical students from Tulane, Louisiana State University or elsewhere may take electives in Colon and Rectal Surgery for 3 to 6 weeks during the school year and one or two may be appointed to clerkships during summer vacation.
All house officers make rounds with the staff daily. During rounds they are instructed in diagnosis, pre- and post-operative care, and the management and treatment of complications.
Formal departmental conferences are held every Wednesday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. During the first portion of the conference the staff pathologists review microscopic slides from cases of the previous week. This is followed by presentation of three or four clinical cases by the fellows. Patients chosen for presentation include those with both common and unusual colon and rectal problems as well as those presenting problems in diagnosis and management. Post-operative complications and deaths are discussed. Appropriate roentgenograms of patients are shown and interpreted by staff radiologists. Staff gastroenterologists are usually in attendance for discussion of disease processes. Both senior and junior house officers are responsible for reviewing and presenting cases including discussion of pertinent data from the medical literature. On a rotating basis the senior house officers are responsible for the planning of weekly departmental conferences. The weekly conferences are also attended by medical students assigned to the colon and rectal service and by other interested residents or fellows in surgery, gastroenterology, radiology and pathology. Opportunity is given for free discussion and questions by residents, fellows, students and staff. The senior house officer in charge of the conference records the minutes of the meetings. Copies of these minutes are distributed to all residents for their review and files. Following the general conference, a morbidity and mortality conference is held to discuss in detail all complications and deaths on the service. At this time grand teaching rounds reviewing every hospitalized patient are presented.
In addition to the weekly departmental conference, there is a combined conference with general surgery and gastroenterology on the first Wednesday of each month. Patients with problems interesting to all services are presented. The department also participates in the gastroenterology conference held on the first Friday of every month. The responsibility for this conference is shared with gastroenterology, general surgery, radiation therapy and medical oncology. At this conference specific subjects related to colon and rectal surgical diseases are presented by house officers of the department of colon and rectal surgery several times during the year. These are formal presentations with prepared slides and may be presentations scheduled to be given at medical meetings. The Department's Journal Club meets monthly at a staff member's home.