Williams urges students to reclaim human element in health care

By Alex Branch

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The human element of the doctor-patient relationship is too often taken for granted in modern health care, UNT Health Science Center President Dr. Michael R. Williams told the inaugural class of Fort Worth’s new medical school.

For example, a chief complaint among emergency room patients today is that no one really touched or examined them, rather just ordered a lot of expensive tests.

The first 60 students in the Texas Christian University and UNTHSC School of Medicine have committed to help reclaim that human element, Dr. Williams said.

“When else do you walk into a room, meet someone and within five minutes tell them everything about yourself with the trust that this person will take this information and help create a better life for you?” Dr. Williams said. “It is a sacred relationship.”

The first class of medical students spent their first day at UNTHSC on Tuesday before classes start July 15. Their arrival was the culmination of a dynamic partnership between TCU and UNTHSC that began in 2015 with an agreement to create a new medical school in Fort Worth.

The students will spend time on both the TCU and UNTHSC campuses.

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The MD school is UNTHSC’s sixth school, joining the nationally recognized Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, the School of Health Professions, the System College of Pharmacy, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Public Health in training the providers of the future who will serve Fort Worth and beyond.

The unique combination of schools on one centralized campus— no other Health Science Center in Texas offers them — allows UNTHSC students to practice innovative team-based care that is proven to lead to better patient outcomes.

TCOM, which graduates the most primary care physicians in Texas and is ranked in the top 10 for primary care, and the new medical school will work together to help solve the state’s growing physician shortage and give more Texans the care they need.

“The Health Science Center is all about patients and families,” Dr. Williams said. “We are creating providers that will interact with patients and families in a new and robust way.”

UNTHSC Provost Dr. Charles Taylor told students that the four-year journey they were beginning is unique because of the medical school curriculum’s commitment to innovation and teamwork.

“We are here to improve the human condition,” Dr. Taylor said. “Help people live healthier, better lives. It’s such a meaningful, powerful reason to get up every day.”

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