Is the UT System Preparing for a New Medical School? — Higher Education | The Texas Tribune

The headline is disingenuous: yes, there’s a Med School headed for Austin. Congrats, Brackendridge!

Kinda amusing tale after the quote:

Lawmakers and local leaders are hopeful a plan unanimously adopted at Thursday’s University of Texas System Board of Regents meeting means they could finally get what they’ve long been waiting for: a new medical school.

One of the elements of the plan outlined by Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa is to “advance medical education and research in Austin.” Even before Thursday’s meeting ended, state Sen. Kirk Watson issued a press release reading between the lines, calling for the creation of a flagship health science center and medical school in Austin. “Within the next 30 days, I plan to offer a path – and a challenge for our community – to build on [Cigarroa’s] statement so we realize these goals that so many of us have shared for so long,” Watson said. “It’s time for Austin to come together and act, creating a flagship initiative that can fortify our future and lead the world in the fields of medical education, healthcare and bioscience.”

via Is the UT System Preparing for a New Medical School? — Higher Education | The Texas Tribune.

For those interested in the funny politics of a med school in Austin, you have to look back to the 1970’s.

In the 70’s, during a meeting of the Ledge, there was money set aside for a new Med School. It allegedly was understood by all involved that this school would go to Austin, but it wasn’t spelled out directly. Then, in one of those things that only happens when you have a strong Lieutenant Governor who happened to be from Lubbock, in the last minute a rider was stuck onto an unrelated bill attaching all the money and authorization of the MD School bill to Texas Tech.

From the tales (and I was between 7 and 13 at the time, so I’m literally blameless here), there was a great gnashing of teeth, but it was for naught. My Med School came to fruition, and I’m glad for it, as I graduated from that school several years later.

Amusing history, later corrected.

(Had Austin gotten a school earlier, would Tech ever have gotten one? I say nay).

I predict that Austin will not lack for med student applicants.  I’m daring, it’s true.


  1. As someone who graduated from K-State, I have to agree that Tech wouldn’t have every gotten a med school if UT-A had gotten one first. It’s been a source of disgruntlement around the rest of the Big 12 at how much the ‘horns are catered to in Texas. I can’t imagine how it must feel from within the system. (Actually, yes, I can. KSU has a similar relationship with KU.)

  2. John in Texas says:

    Problem – in the midst of this UT hubris is the fact that the next FY budget actually cuts the number of PGY1/R1 slots in the state, and we already have more MD/DO graduates that residency slots…and doing a miserable job of producing rural physicians. We have docs coming in from Florida, Wyoming and Virginia this year to FPOB and ER slots.
    If you want to meet the needs of the state and not merely continue to feed the mammoth bureaucracy of the Education Industry, increase resident numbers in FP, IM, OB and GS – with real actual rural training and exposure. Too many Tea-sippng city slickers in the field as is!

    A proposed thought experiment – pull the UT SW directory for 1985, compare it with the 2010 directory, and compare the (student + faculty)/(admin + staff) ratios and changes over time, let alone compare with 1960 data… Educational Empire Building.