HOUSTON - University of Houston Regents have approved the creation of the UH College of Medicine.
The college will be focused on preparing primary care doctors to practice in undeserved urban and rural communities in Houston and across Texas.
UH will soon seek medical degree approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
The UH College of Medicine would admit its first class in 2020.
As we all know, Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center.
Houston has grown by 4 million people since the last medical school was established in 1972.
Texas ranks 47th out of 50 states in the ratio of primary care physicians per person, according to a release from UH.
“Training the next generation of physician leaders meets a clear and growing demand in Texas,” said Renu Khator, president of UH. “A new medical school will complement, not compete with other strong institutions already in place. We have an obligation to serve the city by responding to the economic, social and cultural issues affecting the quality of life in Houston.”
Khator and Dr. Stephen J. Spann, planning dean for the UH College of Medicine, discussed the UH plan with leaders of the Texas Medical Center and major Houston hospital systems, including Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann, Texas Children’s, HCA, St. Joseph and Harris Health, according to a release from the school.
Conversations with health education institutions included Baylor College of Medicine, Texas A&M University, UT-Health, UTMB-Health and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“Most medical schools in Texas are not on a university campus, so the chance to be part of a broader university offers great opportunities for collaboration in both teaching and research,” said Spann. “This is a cutting-edge model medical school, building on the success of others recently created with an eye towards producing larger numbers of primary care physicians. We are excited to have HCA as a partner.”
UH plans to fund the 10-year startup phase through approximately one-third legislative appropriations, one-third philanthropy and one-third intellectual property revenue. The expected funding request for the startup phase from the legislature will be $40 million, a release from the school said. Anticipated full enrollment is 480 students and 130 faculty and support staff.
“We can produce a new training program that could bridge the gap in health care and be very cost efficient. It’s a win-win,” said Khator. “We’re fully prepared with elements already in place to effectively bring innovative medical resources to our community.”
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