University of North Texas Health Science Center

University of North Texas Health Sciences Center and Texas Christian University announced Wednesday that UNT HSC has transitioned the governance of its health sciences program to TCU.

University of North Texas Health Sciences Center and Texas Christian University announced Wednesday that UNT HSC has transitioned the governance of its health sciences program to TCU.

UNT HSC officials said they weren’t available to answer questions Thursday but shared documents and the official announcement.

The new medical school is now the TCU School of Medicine, UNT HSC Chancellor Michael R. Williams and TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said.

The two universities joined in a large-scale collaboration in 2015, forming one of the country’s newest allopathic medical schools.

The collaboration was the first of its kind in Texas, and a rare example of a private university, with an allopathic medical focus, joining a public school with an osteopathic medical program to train healthcare professionals. (Allopathic medicine addresses disease symptoms, whereas osteopathic medicine treats patients rather than diseases.)

The university medical programs partnered in part because a merger means they might attract increased private and public funding, officials said in 2015. But the merger also represented both a response to the rapid growth in demand for healthcare providers in North Texas, and an opportunity for TCU and UNT HSC students to get practical experience in DFW hospitals, clinics and labs. Additionally, the new medical school meant more residencies available for graduates as they transitioned from the classroom to professional medicine.

In the announcement, TCU officials said the collaboration required support from the North Texas community, its leaders and its philanthropic foundations. It’s first students started coursework in 2019.

The collaboration’s first graduates will receive their degrees in 2023. Total enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year is expected to be 240.

The School of Medicine is recruiting its fourth class now. Those recruits start their studies in July.

“This is an exciting and transformational medical school with remarkable students,” Boschini said in a statement. “We are grateful to UNTHSC for their collaboration and for all of the hard work and dedication needed to get this school launched successfully.”

When the two schools entered into the collaboration, TCU took over the UNT HSC Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building, its library, classrooms and labs in Fort Worth as a renter. In the medical school’s frequently asked questions page, officials confirm that the school will eventually relocate to the former UNT HSC campus, the interdisciplinary building. The former UNT campus was part of a vibrant commercial and residential zone near a bustling and revitalized downtown Fort Worth.

However, agreement documents and the new medical school website indicate that TCU School of Medicine will make an announcement about a “permanent new home” for the school. Current students attend classes on both campuses.

All six faculty and staffers of UNT HSC were offered positions at the new school of medicine.

The TCU School of Medicine offers degrees in family medicine, pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, clinical sciences, emergency medicine, medical education and obstetrics and gynecology.

LUCINDA BREEDING-GONZALES can be reached at 940-566-6877 and via Twitter at @LBreedingDRC.

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