The University of Houston's plan to establish a medical school has been approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
The university says the vote brings its College of Medicine one step closer to its goal of training more primary care doctors to practice in underserved urban and rural communities.
“We continue to take careful, well-measured steps forward, and receiving the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s endorsement is another clear indication that we are on the right track,” says Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston. “We look forward to sustaining this progress and playing a vital role in improving the overall health and health care resources of our city and our state.”
Several critical steps remain before the College of Medicine can open its doors to students, the university says. In December, the College of Medicine will submit its application for accreditation with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the federal accrediting body for medical degree programs.
In January 2019, the university will seek $40 million in appropriations over 10 years from the Texas Legislature, about 8 percent of the total $450 million in funding sources. The remaining startup costs include private support, intellectual property revenue, institutional funds and private/public partnerships. To date, the university has raised $35 million of $40 million in private philanthropy for the college.
Texas faces a critical primary care physician shortage and ranks 47th out of 50 states in primary care physician-to-population ratio.
The university is working to establish a partnership with HCA Houston Healthcare, the largest hospital company in the nation, to bring 389 new resident positions to the College of Medicine over its first six years.
VIDEO: University of Houston describes the plans for its College of Medicine.