HSC at Fort Worth

Now, and Next – Redefining medical education in the new School of Medicine

President Williams smiling


It’s an exciting time to be at UNTHSC. By focusing our efforts on building One University to train and prepare our students to be extraordinary team members in the delivery of health care, we have the opportunity to redefine medical education and create a new kind of provider.

Nowhere is this potential more apparent than in the foundational work underway at the new TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine. Under the leadership of its founding dean, Stuart D. Flynn, MD, the school is developing new models of education and care that may serve as a blueprint for other medical schools across the country.

Take the curriculum, for example. Students will start interacting with patients during their first semester and will follow those same patients through their four years here. This model does not exist at any other medical school in the nation outside of small pilot programs.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which accredits medical schools, was complimentary of this new curriculum and has encouraged its full development.

Another coup for the school: hiring Evonne Kaplan-Liss, MD, who was the founding medical director of the acclaimed Alan Alda Center for Communication Science. She will work with students to ensure they can speak effectively with patients and their families. This reinforces communication and empathy as hallmarks of superb caregiving – and aligns with the proud tradition of patient-focused care found in osteopathic medicine.

Kevin Kunkler, MD, Executive Director of Simulation Education, Innovation and Research, is another significant hire for the school. He is a national leader in the use of modeling and simulation training and other technologies in medical education.

That is what’s happening Now at the new MD school. Here’s what is coming Next:

  • The school will be located on two floors of our new Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building, scheduled to open in 2018. Students and faculty alike will learn and work side-by-side with colleagues in the UNT System College of Pharmacy. And they’ll be just a few buildings down from their teammates in TCOM and the School of Health Professions.
    This is significant because it is at the heart of the One University idea – teams working across departments, disciplines and schools to create a new kind of educational environment.
  • The critical work toward accreditation continues. Materials must be submitted to the LCME in August. We expect a site visit next February and, hopefully, the granting of preliminary accreditation in June 2018. That would clear the way for classes to begin in July 2019.

I encourage you to attend my upcoming Town Hall on March 28, where I will talk more about the new medical school and other successes coming out of the Health Science Center.

Thank you for your teamwork in transforming UNTHSC into One University that creates healthier communities and produces a new and better kind of health care provider.


Dr. Michael R. Williams