BREAKING: UH plans to open medical school in 2020
UPDATE 5:31 p.m.: Pending permission from the Texas legislature, the University of Houston will enroll its first class of medical students in 2020 following a vote of approval by the UH System Board of Regents during its quarterly meeting Thursday afternoon.
Recruitment for the medical school’s first 30-student class will begin in June 2019, according to the College of Medicine report presented at the meeting. Class sizes will gradually expand to 120 students over the following years.
University spokesperson Mike Rosen said the College of Medicine will be housed initially in the Human and Biomedical Sciences II building before relocating to a new building solely for the program. According to the presentation, the new facility would need to be available by Fall 2022 to accommodate growing class sizes.
According to the action request document for the medical school, the approval by the Board of Regents allows the University to proceed in finalizing a partnership for new residencies, establish a College of Medicine to support those residencies, submit a request to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for an M.D. and initiate the accreditation process for the medical school.
UH System Chancellor and President Renu Khator said at the meeting that the medical school is a three-for-one deal. It will help serve medically underserved communities in the Houston area, will help meet the state’s need for additional residency jobs and enhance UH’s multidisciplinary research capabilities.
“This (had) not been a vision of the board initially,” said Tilman Fertitta, chairman of the Board of Regents. “This was a vision of Renu Khator.”
He said the board will look back at this moment as part of history, but there is still a lot of work remaining before getting approval from the Texas Legislature.
Rosen said the University is confident it has a strong case for getting approval to start granting medical doctorates.
According to the presentation, UH will submit the application to the Higher Education Coordinating Board in February.