Progress on the New Dell Medical School

Written by PEARL XIN

On Tuesday, October 29th, I attended an open forum covering a broad overview of the progress of the new Dell Medical School here in Austin. Located south of the UT campus, the new medical school will end Austin’s title as the “biggest city in America with a Tier One research university but without a medical school." The new medical school is expected to bring about a new era for UT, supplementing our current research efforts and improving the health care system in Austin in partnership with Seton Healthcare Family, a regional health care system, and Central Health, a public health care district.

A schematic showing Phase I’s building plans.

The panelists indicated that the new medical school will enhance the ongoing research here at UT by adding opportunities for clinical trials in current research tracks. In terms of the medical community, the new school hopes to focus on improving Austin’s healthcare delivery system by making it more data driven, economic, and efficient while ensuring the quality of patient care. Abiding by an ideology of prevention and education, the Dell Medical School hopes to engage local doctors and anchor research programs to work on keeping people out of the hospital and at home by re-contextualizing hospitals in the healthcare system. Medical students are expected to join this effort by engaging in clinical services to detect, treat, and educate the population about health concerns such as STIs using the new teaching hospital as a resource to improve community health.

Admissions, Curriculum, and Student Involvement:
Applications and interviews for the first class will start in June 2015, and the first class of 50 students is expected to be admitted in 2016. When asked if UT Austin undergraduate/pre-med students will be given special consideration in admissions, the panel declined to answer.

Regarding the curriculum structure of the new medical school, a member of the curriculum sub-committee indicated that they are leaning towards a program in which the basic sciences are accelerated, allowing the students to pursue a project or research initiative their 3rd year. The panel also suggested that the program will incorporate the practice of longitudinal family medicine rotation, in which residents are based in the family practice center every day or nearly every day of all three years of their residency training taking care of families instead of a four week of family medicine.

Currently, student voices are present in the administration’s decisions as they serve on committees regarding the architectural planning of the Dell Medical School, the formation of the medical school structure, and the design of the clinical curriculum.

Dell Medical School Website:

Picture Citation:
Hicks, R.Steven.Academic Affairs Committee. UT System Board of Regents.
Austin, Texas. 9 May 2013.

Panelists: State Senator Kirk Watson, Steven Leslie, UT Austin Special Assistant to the President for Medical Education, Dr. Sue Cox, Dell Medical School Interim Associate Dean, Patricia "Trish" Young Brown, Central Health President and CEO, Greg Hartman, Seton Healthcare President, Academic Medicine, Research & External Affairs, Terri Broussard Williams, American Heart Association Vice President of Advocacy and Governmental Relations, Pat Clubb, UT Austin Vice President of University Operations

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