Dean’s Corner

Cathy Lazarus, M.D.
Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Records

It has been a little over one year since I joined the SOM as Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Records. Every day I am reminded how lucky I am to be able to work with our fantastic students, dedicated faculty and collegial administration. Our student affairs team is very fortunate to have Hamilton Farris, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Neuroscience Center as Assistant Dean, joining the office with me at the same time. Our team now includes Kourtnie Robin, Ed.D. as Director of Student Affairs. We are the “newbies”, with the team rounded out with Assistant Dean Dr. Fred Lopez, Richard Vial Professor of Medicine, and by long-standing coordinator of Student Affairs, Ms. Bobbie Millet (48 years of service to LSU New Orleans SOM), Ms. Carolyn Calvin, and Ms. Melanie Brown.

Thanks to Dean Nelson, our office space got a much-needed facelift.  We now have conference room space and a new welcoming entrance. Stop by and visit us on the 7th floor of the Lions building to see it!

With the upcoming LCME visit and the always valuable self-study process, we have been able to identify several areas where we are making enhancements to better serve our students. Dr. Robin will be leading a couple of these:  enhancing academic advising, in partnership with our faculty and serving in the new role as ombudsperson to be there for students who may wish to confidentially discuss issues and concerns that may or may not need to follow a formal complaint process. Dr. Farris has been working closely with the faculty and the students in the preclinical curriculum to make sure that academic progress and adjustment to medical school goes as smoothly as possible. Dr. Lopez and I are working with the clinical departments, house mentors, and our faculty to enhance awareness of resources to support students’ career decision making. This is a process that expands across the first three and a half years of medical school.

And the culmination of all of this is MATCH DAY!

This year, 193 students participated in the Match process.  It was a wonderful and exciting day, well described by Katie Melder and Thomas Steele in their article in this issue of The Pulse.  94 of our students will be staying in Louisiana for their residencies, 99 will be leaving the state for far off places like Alaska, Montana, Maryland, Illinois, Pennsylvania and more.  We hope they will remember us and choose to return one day.

Over the past five years, LSU New Orleans SOM has had 587 students stay in state for training and 486 leave.

I look forward to many more great years for our students at LSU New Orleans SOM and am very grateful and privileged to have the honor of working for them and with them.