Update Oct. 25: The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) today approved the joint Texas Christian University (TCU) and University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) School of Medicine, expected to open in 2019.
The board also OK'd the University of Houston's proposed allopathic school for a planned 2020 opening.
The approvals would bring the number of Texas medical schools to 14.
Original story (Oct. 23): Texas’ newest allopathic medical school achieved a significant milestone last week.
On Friday, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) awarded preliminary accreditation to the Texas Christian University (TCU) and University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) School of Medicine, which is planned for Fort Worth.
The recognition from the accrediting body for programs leading to a medical degree in the United States helps open the door for the school to begin recruiting students.
“I am so humbled and grateful to our community for rallying together to pave the way for this exceptional school of medicine,” Stuart D. Flynn, MD, the medical school’s founding dean, said in a statement. “We brought the right team together with the support of two excellent universities. Now, we can begin our journey to train the best physicians for the future.”
During the next few weeks, school officials will work to become a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which will give the school access to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and allow it to accept applications starting in November.
The first class of 60 students will begin in July 2019, school officials say. The inaugural class will receive free tuition for the first year, thanks to a donation from Paul Dorman, chairman and CEO of DFB Pharmaceuticals in Fort Worth.
The school is also awaiting approval from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), which is expected to vote on the school’s application Thursday.
Twelve medical schools currently operate in the Lone Star State. The University of Houston is working toward opening an allopathic school in 2020, and the THECB is also scheduled to vote on their application Thursday. In addition, Sam Houston State University is planning an osteopathic school in Conroe.
TCU and UNTHSC joined together in July 2015 to form the allopathic medical school. Classes will be held on both the TCU and UNTHSC campuses, and students will rotate through hospitals and clinics in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
In May, UNTHSC announced that it is partnering with Medical City Healthcare to develop about 500 residency positions over the next seven years at its 14 hospitals around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. New programs in internal medicine and general surgery will be included.
UNTHSC has educated osteopathic medical students at its Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth since 1974.
“The School of Medicine allows us to offer one of the most futuristic and comprehensive health care educations in the nation,” UNTHSC President Michael R. Williams, DO, MD, said. “Together with TCU, we are creating a health care environment and a cutting edge curriculum that will define and produce the health care providers of the future that our community needs and deserves.”