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New Step Forward For University Of Houston College Of Medicine

The Texas House of Representatives has formally recognized the college, which allows for funding from the state.

The Health 2 serves as the temporary home to UH's College of Medicine.
The Health 2 building serves as the temporary home to UH’s College of Medicine.

The process to create the University of Houston’s College of Medicine keeps advancing, this time with an important step in the Texas Legislature.

The Texas House of Representatives on Monday approved the formal recognition of the college in the state’s Education Code through the passage of House Bill 826. The House had previously approved an allocation of $20 million for the medical school, an amount that’s critical to the college’s startup cost.

The House’s formal recognition is important because the Education Code authorizes public university systems in Texas to approve curricula and operational protocols for medical schools. It also makes medical schools eligible for related state funding.

Legislators acknowledged the shortage of primary care physicians throughout Texas, the unmet need for access to care in under-served communities, and UH’s agreement to increase residency slots to train new doctors. Texas ranks 47th in the U.S. in primary care physician-to-population ratio.

Last year, UH finalized an agreement with HCA Houston Healthcare to create nearly 400 residency slots over the next seven years.

The medical school hopes to admit its first class of students in Fall 2020, pending accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved UH’s medical doctor degree last fall.

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