UT Dallas Joins Plan to Expedite Medical Education

Collaboration with UT Southwestern to Offer Undergraduates Early Coursework

Aug. 11, 2011

UT Dallas is partnering with UT Southwestern Medical Center in a pilot program designed to speed up medical education in Texas.

The University of Texas System program, Transformation In Medical Education, links medical schools and four-year colleges throughout the UT System in an effort to better prepare students for careers in medicine and shorten the process of obtaining a medical degree.

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The Health Professions Advising Center is coordinating information about the PACT program.

“The program called PACT (Partnership for Advancing Clinical Transition), is really innovative in that medical school faculty will have an active role in the design and teaching of undergraduate courses,” said Dr. Scott Wright, associate dean and director of the Health Professions Advising Center. “Students will also become better acquainted with classes that emphasize clinical skills.”

All participating institutions are charged with developing the combined degree programs. PACT will emphasize how the basic science relates to patients. Students will also receive early instruction in patient communication skills.

“The program is highly interactive between our two institutions, with instruction by medical school faculty beginning in the summer after the freshman year,” Wright said. “Course content will also be revised to promote professionalism.”

To that end, UT Dallas will offer courses on medical ethics, culture and medicine, and advanced communications skills.

Students applying from high school will be required to meet rigorous benchmarks for acceptance into the program, which will shave as much as two years off the length of  a typical medical education. After admittance, students must maintain academic standards to remain in the program.

Those who are admitted and graduate will have guaranteed acceptance to UT Southwestern Medical School — a huge motivation for students, Wright said.

“Guaranteed admission to UT Southwestern provides a fantastic motivation for our students,” Wright said. “Ultimately, the program will help reduce the costs of physician education and increase the number of well-trained doctors in communities throughout the state and beyond.”

The program launches in the fall of 2012.

For more information, contact the Health Professions Advising Center at 972-883-6767.


Media Contact: Katherine Morales, 972-883-4321, kmorales@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, 972-883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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UT Southwestern

Students in the Partnership for Advancing Clinical Transition program who meet rigorous benchmarks will be guaranteed admittance to UT Southwestern Medical School.

 

dr. Scott Wright

“The program ... is really innovative in that medical school faculty will have an active role in the design and teaching of undergraduate courses,” said Dr. Scott Wright.

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