TCU and UNT Health Science Center to create new medical school

Date Published: 
Friday, February 26, 2016

UNTHSC President Michael R. Williams and TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr.
UNTHSC President Michael R. Williams and TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr.

Update: February, 2016

In the months since Texas Christian University and UNT Health Science Center announced plans to create a new M.D. school, we have made meaningful progress in making this bold endeavor a success for Fort Worth. We are pleased to share with you a significant milestone in our efforts.

This week, both the UNT System Board of Regents and TCU’s Executive Board of Trustees approved a collaboration agreement between the two universities that formalizes plans for the M.D. school. This allows both institutions to continue working together on an M.D. school based on teamwork and focused on improving outcomes and experiences for future patients.

Our next major step is to hire a founding dean. Last month, we interviewed four outstanding candidates. With the collaboration agreement now in place, we anticipate selecting one of the candidates in the near future.

In the meantime, Dr. Nowell Donovan, TCU’s Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Thomas Yorio, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at UNTHSC, have led efforts to build a solid foundation for the new school. As leaders of a joint Management Committee, Dr. Donovan and Dr.Yorio have tackled operational areas such as curriculum development, admissions and financial affairs.

TCU and UNTHSC are embarking on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make Fort Worth a medical destination, work that cannot be done without strong support from our community partners and team members. We are so very appreciative of your encouragement and advocacy on behalf of this important collaboration.

With Fort Worth as our campus, we will be able to offer the most comprehensive health care education in the nation when the M.D. school comes to fruition. With your help, we will be leaders in the future practice and business of health care. We look forward to communicating with you soon regarding the hiring of a new dean and other important developments.

Sincerely,

Victor J. Boschini, Jr.
Chancellor, Texas Christian University

Michael R. Williams
President, UNT Health Science Center

Original Post: July, 2015

Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas Health Science Center have entered into a memorandum of understanding to create a new MD school in Fort Worth. The school, planning to accept its first class in 2018, will be among the leading institutions in the nation in providing a team-oriented educational approach that benefits patients and shapes the future practice and business of medicine.

The MOU calls for an initial class of 60 students, with plans for a full enrollment of 240.

“A new MD school will give Texas more high-quality practitioners in an era of dramatic physician shortages,” said UNTHSC President Michael R. Williams. “Our students will become physicians who focus on their patients and learn to deliver care as part of larger health care teams.”

The MD school is expected to increase educational and research opportunities at the two institutions, while preparing the next generation of physicians to meet health care needs in Texas and beyond. Using existing educational, research and training facilities, along with faculty at both TCU and UNTHSC, allows start-up costs to be minimized and privately funded.

Donors in Fort Worth, the largest city in Texas without an MD school, have already pledged significant financial support to address initial start-up costs. In addition, the institutions will focus on effectively maximizing existing resources.

This allows Fort Worth to boast the nation’s most comprehensive health care education located on a single campus. UNTHSC, located in the Cultural District, currently has an osteopathic medical school, along with graduate schools for pharmacists, physician assistants, physical therapists, public health experts and biomedical scientists.

“This academic collaboration represents the first step in the establishment of a premier MD school and is one of the most ambitious our university has undertaken to date,” said TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. “Blending a medical education with liberal arts helps shape tomorrow’s physicians as ethical leaders who are skilled in interpersonal communication and nimble thinkers who thrive as part of a team to treat patients in ways that consider the whole human condition.”

The MD program is an extension of the two universities’ longstanding collaboration on science and health care issues affecting the Fort Worth community. To date, more than 1,200 students from nursing, speech-language pathology, social work, athletic training, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, public health and biomedical sciences have trained together on interprofessional education competencies. Existing collaborations include a range of programs that focus on everything from a community-based outreach program for older adults to a culinary medicine approach that explores everyday recipes for better health.

In addition, students in TCU’s Neeley School of Business and UNTHSC’s School of Public Health currently collaborate as part of UNTHSC’s master’s program in health administration.

Additional points of interest in the MOU include the following:

  • Students in the MD school will be enrolled in both institutions.
  • A dean named jointly by TCU and UNTHSC will report to provosts at both campuses.
  • Both TCU and UNTHSC faculty will teach in the program.
  • The MD school plans to begin accepting applications in the fall of 2017.

Moving forward, a medical school management committee including representatives from both universities, along with the new dean and provosts from both institutions, will oversee plans for the new school.