TCU and UNT Health Science Center select dean for new M.D. school
Texas Christian University and UNT Health Science Center have selected Stuart D. Flynn, M.D., dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, as the founding dean of the new M.D. school the two institutions are establishing in Fort Worth.
Dr. Flynn, who led a medical school in Arizona that started as a partnership between two universities, is expected to begin his new duties in April. He will oversee the development of an innovative education model focused on teamwork that benefits patients and shapes the future practice and business of medicine in North Texas and beyond.
“TCU, the University of North Texas Health Science Center and Fort Worth offer all the ingredients needed to develop a cutting-edge M.D. school with national aspirations,” Dr. Flynn said. “I am excited to build this school with valued colleagues, including a nationally recognized osteopathic medical school, a renowned and forward-looking nursing program, excellent pharmacy and public health schools, and several other high-caliber colleges at both universities.
“I see an opportunity for innovation that can impact health care in Texas for generations.”
As founding dean of the Phoenix medical school since 2008, Dr. Flynn oversaw development of the curriculum and guided the school through a complex accreditation process, growing the program from an initial student class of 24 to the current class size of 80. Each graduating class has had a 100 percent match rate for residencies, and more than half chose to pursue primary care disciplines — a major need in Texas.
Dr. Flynn said he believes in graduating physicians with the highest levels of medical knowledge and technical abilities, but also with patient-centered qualities of humanism such as empathy, respect and servant leadership.
“Those latter traits sound like common sense, but if not nurtured in medical school, students often can get overwhelmed by all they have to learn,” he said. “To accomplish our goal in improving the value of health care for all, we envision doctors who proactively work to keep people healthy, not just recognize disease and treat it.”
The M.D. school will establish Fort Worth as home to one of the nation’s most comprehensive health care educations located on one campus. UNTHSC has a renowned osteopathic medical school and graduate schools for pharmacists, physician assistants, physical therapists, public health experts and biomedical scientists.
“Dr. Flynn’s leadership style will fit seamlessly into the values-based culture we are building at the Health Science Center,” UNTHSC President Michael R. Williams said. “His vision for the future of medical education will create more adaptive, high-quality physicians prepared to meet the changing health care needs of Texas.”
The M.D. program is an extension of the two universities’ longstanding collaboration on science and health care issues affecting the Fort Worth community. To date, more than 1,200 students from nursing, speech-language pathology, social work, athletic training, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, public health and biomedical sciences have trained together on interprofessional education competencies. Existing collaborations include a range of programs that focus on everything from a community-based outreach program for older adults to a culinary medicine approach that explores everyday recipes for better health.
In addition, students in TCU’s Neeley School of Business and UNTHSC’s School of Public Health currently collaborate as part of UNTHSC’s master’s program in health administration and TCU’s health care MBA program.
TCU and UNTHSC announced plans to create the M.D. school in July 2015. The school will utilize existing facilities and resources on both campuses. It will require accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
“Having Dr. Flynn join us in this ambitious project is a tremendous step forward,” said TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. “His expertise in navigating the complexities of a new medical school, combined with his passion for mentoring the leaders and critical thinkers who will drive health care transformation, fully aligns with the mission of Fort Worth’s M.D. school. We’re so happy to welcome him to campus and to our community.”
Dr. Flynn received his medical degree and residency training at the University of Michigan. He completed his fellowship in oncologic pathology at Stanford University and served as a professor of pathology and surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine before taking the Phoenix post.
Flynn is author of more than 100 articles, books and monographs. He has received numerous honors, including America’s Top Physician’s Award from the Consumers’ Research Council of America; Teacher of the Year at Yale University School of Medicine; founding member of Yale’s Society of Distinguished Teachers; and the Averill A. Liebow Award for excellence in the teaching of pathology residents, also at Yale.
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