Highlighting the school’s growth and the results of the recent legislative session, Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo hosted the annual faculty meeting for McGovern Medical School in MSB 3.001 Aug. 5.
He opened the meeting by announcing the arrival of incoming Dean Barbara Stoll from Emory on Oct. 1. “You know of her many accomplishments, and her heart is orange already,” he said.
The 84th legislative session was positive for UTHealth, which will receive a 4 percent increase in overall funding and a modest uptick in formula funding. Significant increases were provided to graduate medical education and trauma programs. In addition, upcoming repairs and maintenance of the Medical School Building will be funded, in part, by $80 million in tuition revenue bonds.
Dean Colasurdo stated that our school is operating at capacity with a class size of 240 students, and is one of the largest medical schools in the country. Despite our large training programs and the state’s impressive ability to recruit physicians and retain trainees, Texas still ranks 42nd in the nation in physician-to-population ratio.
Research programs remain competitive for the school and for the entire university in a difficult environment, with the addition of several new high-profile awards. The university’s overall annual research expenditures have increased by $50 million since 2006.
Dean Colasurdo shared that, according to the AAMC, UTHealth Medical School ranks first for clinical practice growth among all medical schools in the nation. This growth has been achieved as the result of the UTHealth Hypothesis, which Dean Colasurdo explained as: “Academic growth is dependent upon a large clinical practice and strategic alignment with hospital partners.”
Following the trend of medical schools nationally, our school has become increasingly dependent on clinical revenues, which today represent more than half of our overall budget. “These clinical dollars are critical for protecting our academic mission,” Dean Colasurdo said. As noted during the Q&A session by Dr. Heinrich Taegtmeyer, and strongly supported by the dean, our teaching programs, research enterprise, and clinical services are highly interdependent.
Presenting various faculty practice plan models, Dean Colasurdo said that we must identify the best fit for our school and our hospital partners, and that the numerous and diverse clinical settings available to our students make our teaching programs some of the best in the country. He added that our contributions to the safety net of the community, in partnership with Harris Health and Baylor College of Medicine, are a high priority.
Before opening the floor up to questions, Dean Colasurdo gave an update on UTHealth’s potential purchase and renovation of the Jesse H. Jones Library Building, and also on the TMC3 proposed campus, which is a new research complex to be anchored by UTHealth, Baylor, Texas A&M, and MD Anderson.
To watch the annual faculty meeting, click on this link and use the uthouston.edu option from the drop down menu to use your UTHealth user name and password to log on:
-Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School