Tulane Relocates to the Texas Medical Center

The Tulane University School of Medicine has taken up temporary residence in the Texas Medical Center. As Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports -- faculty and students are rapidly assimilating into the new environment in an attempt to get back on track for the school year.

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More than 400 Tulane medical students are in Houston to continue their studies. The first and second year students are attending classes and tutorials on the Baylor College of Medicine campus. Tulane Medical School Dean Dr. Ian Taylor says the damage to the New Orleans campus isn't severe, but it's impractical to move the school back to Louisiana before the beginning of next year.

The students will still be taught by Tulane faculty, using Tulane curriculum. The move to Houston occurred when Dr. Michael DeBakey heard about how the school needed to relocate. Dr. DeBakey graduated from Tulane's medical school and later returned to teach there. He says he knew the students needed a stable and adequate place to learn medicine. Dr. DeBakey says he tells students one thing about getting through medical school.

For the students, there have been challenges in the change. Housing is the biggest problem, but most of the students are settled in to apartments near the medical center. Some local students and faculty have even opened their homes and made rooms available. Second year medical student Andrew Schutzbank says the challenges are outweighed by the importance of getting back to class and benefiting from the wisdom and experience of people like Dr. DeBakey.

Most of the Tulane students are at Baylor, although four Houston-area medical schools are working with the group. Third and fourth year students are distributed between Baylor, UT Medical School, UTMB Galveston and Texas A&M College of Medicine. About 275 residents are also training at the teaching hospitals for these schools.

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