North Texas Daily

TCU and UNTHSC to open medical school

TCU and UNTHSC to open medical school

TCU and UNTHSC to open medical school
July 06
10:59 2015

Dalton LaFerney | News Editor

Donald Griffin, for TCU 360

Texas Christian University and UNT Health Science Center officials announced plans Monday to create a medical school in Fort Worth. But both parties agree there is a lot of work to be done.

Now that the official announcement has been made, an action committee composed of UNTHSC and TCU faculty will begin planning the logistics of hiring staff and building the curriculum. The first thing they’ll do is find a dean, who will answer to both TCU and UNTHSC provosts.

UNTHSC President Michael Williams said a new building will not be constructed for this project, and classes will be held on both UNTHSC and TCU campuses.

Officials Monday said by fall 2017 they hope to accept applications. The inaugural class will begin fall 2018, officials project. Students will belong to both institutions, likewise for faculty and staff.

It will be the second medical school in Fort Worth. Already, UNTHSC has the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, which does not issue M.D.’s. The TCU-UNTHSC medical school will give M.D.’s, making it the second M.D. school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The cost to attend the medical school is not yet determined, but TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini said he expects tuition to be priced about the same as an average private medical school, “in the low fifties,” he said.

“These are all details we are going to start working on,” Boschini said. “Most private schools already compete with medical schools that are cheaper.”

The funding will not come from the state. Already, $75 million has been pledged. Williams said $25 will come from donors of his school, while TCU will give $50 million from its endowment.

Because the money is coming from private donors and TCU — a private university — state approval is not necessary, but there is one legislative hurdle.

TCU has been involved in planning this project since about March, Boschini said. But UNTHSC has attempted to create an M.D. school before in 2009, but legislative blockades ended the venture.

Standing legislation prohibits UNTHSC from offering M.D. degrees, so the diplomas will be from TCU, but Williams said he’s confident lawmakers will change that. He told reporters that he and other members of the collaboration have been in communication with several lawmakers who he said liked the new medical school in Fort Worth.

A study by the Texas Medical Association reported that Texas needs to invest more in medical schools and residency training programs, and that it relies heavily on other states and countries. The study, “Healthy Vision 2020,” says that many medical school graduates in Texas leave the state because they cannot find residency programs in the state.

The study also shows a high likelihood that a doctor will begin their practice in the same place they do their residency and that in 2013 almost half of all medical school graduates left Texas for programs elsewhere. And that’s important because the state invests about $176,ooo in each graduate, according to the study. There were 1,587 medical school graduates in 2013. About 2,000 are expected to graduate in 2022.

TCU and UNTHSC hope to establish a program that will help keep doctors in Texas.

We’re working in collaboration with TCU 360, the school’s digital-first news website. Follow our live blog for updates.

Donald Griffin is the managing editor for TCU 360.

About Author

Dalton LaFerney

Dalton LaFerney

Dalton is the editor of the Daily.

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