The New University of Texas Dell Medical School

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The New University of Texas Dell Medical School: Transforming Patient Care

Four years ago, Travis County voters approved a property tax increase to help finance the new University of Texas Dell Medical School. In June, construction on the primary teaching building was complete, and last month, the school kicked off its inaugural class. The 50 students in the class were selected from more than 4,500 applicants ranging in age from 20 to 39 years old. They hold degrees ranging from biology and engineering to art and philosophy.

Even before it opened, Dell Medical School was garnering attention for its innovative curriculum and focus on Austin’s underserved communities. The first medical school in nearly 50 years to be built from the ground up at a top-tier, Association of American Universities-member research campus, its mission is to provide not just clinical services, but also health services. That means focusing on a new health care payment model, in which patients pay for outcomes rather than clinical procedures. It also means applying technology in new ways, such as using devices that take patients’ temperatures and heart rates and dispense IV fluids, and then automatically record patient data in an electronic medical record. This allows physicians to spend more time with patients, and less time entering data into a computer.

Finally, it means training students differently. The school’s curriculum, which differs from traditional medical schools, emphasizes team-based problem solving, inter-professional education, leadership development, technology integration, and educational flexibility. And as part of the collaboration, students will also train at the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, a teaching hospital scheduled to open in May 2017.

The University of Texas Dell Medical School aims to make Austin a model city for health worldwide. In the words of Dean Clay Johnston, “I’m not interested in creating just another medical school, but in creating a medical school that really represents what we want health – and health education – to be in the next century.”

For more information about the University of Texas Dell Medical School, including future development plans, visit the school’s website.


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