South Texas Needs Medical School

Posted on

The need for a South Texas medical school is unquestionable, writes The New York Times. Studies show the Rio Grande Valley, with a population approaching 1.5 million, has 110 doctors per 100,000 people — half the national rate and well below the state average.

medical school

(Student of University of Texas Health Science Center)

“If you were going to pick a time in the history of the Texas budget to create a new medical school, this is probably not the time you would pick to do it,” said R. K. Whittington, the president of the South Texas Medical Foundation.

The story is quite incredible because the first bill to establish a South Texas medical school was introduced in the 1940s. More serious negotiations spurred by a severe shortage of physicians in the region, date back more than 20 years.

But, in the past decade. there was regional academic health center established in Harlingen and Edinburg, with $100 million in infrastructure. This infrastructure provides rotations for over 1,000 medical students affiliated with the Health Science Center in San Antonio. More importantly, in 2009 , lawmakers passed legislation authorizing the establishment of a South Texas medical school, but did not attach any financing to it. The NY Times writes that the U.T. System Board of Regents approved spending $30 million a year — special financing set aside for flagship institutions — to help establish an Austin medical school. At the same meeting, regents reaffirmed their commitment to turn the South Texas regional health centers into a free-standing medical school.

“I lived in South Texas for a year learning advanced shoulder surgery from pioneer and mentor Steve Burkhart. Wonderful place and wonderful people. We need to do everything in our power to advance medical education there. I would be pleased and proud to provide Skype and FaceTime lectures.”, agrees Manhattan Orhopedic Care physician, Dr. Armin Tehrany.