New MD school will bring economic, social benefits to Fort Worth


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Stuart D. Flynn, MD

The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine is expected to positively impact the North Texas community by addressing Texas’ growing physician shortage, providing new opportunities for employment and boosting the local economy, according to a report by Tripp Umbach, the leading provider of economic impact analysis for academic health centers in the nation.

The new school of medicine is set to open in 2019, pending accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

“It’s fitting to start highlighting the incredible economic impact that the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine will have on our region as it approaches accreditation,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “And, beyond the economic impact, I’m thrilled to see how this new school will only further the city’s image as a world class higher education hub that will draw more medical professionals and their families to Fort Worth.”

A new research-based allopathic school of medicine is anticipated to attract additional top scientists and faculty, as well as entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the country, further expanding Fort Worth’s life sciences industry. A preliminary report was issued April 18 at the Leadership Outlook breakfast sponsored by Leadership Fort Worth.

“When we study medical schools across the country, we find that the institutions with the greatest economic impact on their communities are those that are created from a partnership between two successful universities,” said Paul Umbach, founder and president of Tripp Umbach. “With two outstanding research universities like TCU and UNTHSC partnering to create a new MD school, there is enormous potential for the Fort Worth economy.”

Economic impact

The average medical school in the U.S. produces $1.7 billion of economic impact annually. A new medical school will grow to that impact with base operations of more than $140 million, and additional impacts of research, clinical care, spin offs and indirect support.

The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine will provide additional value to the community through the training and graduating of physicians who will remain in the region and state to practice after residency training. Each physician is expected to generate an estimated $1.5 million in economic impact and potentially provide $300,000 in tax revenue each year for the state of Texas as a result of operational, employee and visitor spending. These are considered new funds to the economy, not resources diverted from elsewhere within the community.

Additionally, each practicing physician is estimated to provide 13 new jobs. These new opportunities for employment are in addition to the positions the School of Medicine will account for directly and will provide a stable source of income for North Texans, as academic health centers are considered strong economic engines and are not typically affected by fluctuations in the economy.

“The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine is fortunate to have a dedicated partner in the city of Fort Worth,” said Founding Dean Stuart D. Flynn, MD. “With the energy and enthusiasm of this city, as well as the state of Texas, we’ll develop a cutting-edge MD school that produces empathetic scholars who will transform medical care for our community and beyond.”

Available data

A formal report from Tripp Umbach is expected by the end of May. Currently available data:

  • Tripp Umbach believes the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine will leverage and further enhance the region’s health care, biotech and academic industry by diversifying its offerings, which will not only create jobs by attracting and retaining quality workforce and sparking potential commercialization and spinoff business, but also simultaneously keeping residents from seeking services elsewhere, ultimately, capturing and keeping fresh dollars in the region.
  • Based on Tripp Umbach’s review of the economic impact of all new U.S. medical schools, typical economic impact is expected to grow annually when all four years of medical education are in place and again when the faculty is generating new clinical revenue, as well as if a strong research infrastructure is developed, or when commercial spin-off activities associated with the medical school are in place. Additional activity can be described as the following: research activity with private research institutes, business spinoffs as a result of research commercialization efforts, and health care provider impacts generated as a result of providing groundbreaking care to patients.
  • Tripp Umbach quantifies the national average economic impact of a medical school and its related activity such as bioscience industry growth, research, workforce and clinical care averages $1.7 billion annually and creates 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.
  • A research-based school of medicine based plays a crucial role for regions as impacts associated with a school of medicine averages $144 million annually for operations (just the education component). Tripp Umbach quantifies additional economic development at 20 times of the operational economic impact ($1.7 billion), which includes other educational programs, research, industry partnerships, clinical care and new collaborations.
  • A school of medicine will also provide impact with students who will graduate and eventually practice in the community. Tripp Umbach studies indicate each new physician generates $1.5 million in economic impact, sustains 13 additional jobs and generates $300,000 in tax revenue each year for the state.
  • Tripp Umbach has estimated an annual health care cost savings of $288 million in a region if 80 new primary care physicians stay in region to practice.

About the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine

The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine is Fort Worth’s first M.D. school, set to open with a class of 60 students in July 2019, pending accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. TCU and UNTHSC joined together in July 2015 to form this new allopathic medical school. The School of Medicine’s focus on communication, a first-of-its-kind curriculum and the development of empathetic scholars uniquely positions the organization to radically transform medical education, improving care for future generations.

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