Education: Foundation for the Future

Fourth-year medical student Greg Valentine is committed to changing children’s lives, whether he’s volunteering at a free clinic in Galveston, on medical missions to the Texas-Mexico border or promoting literacy in local schools. And he continues to make yearly visits to an orphanage in Romania, where he discovered his passion for service during an undergraduate studyabroad trip. “You can really make a difference with a child,” he says, “and that difference can have an impact on 4 future generations.”

Improving health and health care delivery is at the heart of UTMB’s mission. That mission is more important than ever as we work to meet the needs of a growing, aging, increasingly diverse population. The students we educate today are tomorrow’s answer to the serious shortage of care providers in Texas and beyond, and the future pioneers of new and better ways to diagnose and treat illness.

We are enrolling a record number of students and last year alone graduated more than 800 doctors, nurses, other health professionals and biomedical scientists. Equally important, we graduate men and women who take service to heart, excel on national licensing exams, embrace technology, personify collaboration, and go on to become lifelong learners and leaders in their chosen fields.

Our graduates also reflect the populations we serve; in fact, UTMB’s student body is one of the most diverse in the nation. Many of our graduates return to medically underserved communities to practice, and a good percentage of our medical school graduates enter primary care residencies in Texas—critical at a time when health reform calls for more prevention and the number of primary care doctors is already too small.

UTMB’s historic Old Red amphitheater remains a training ground for generations of Texas health professionals.

UTMB’s historic Old Red amphitheater remains a training ground for generations of Texas health professionals.

Why is the UTMB learning environment so special? One reason is that we have been leading the way in health sciences education for 120 years. Another is our outstanding educators, and our groundbreaking (and award-winning) curricula, which focus more on problemsolving than on memorization and bring students face-to-face early on with the types of patients they will one day treat. We also credit innovative programs of study that are keeping pace with and in many ways shaping the course of health and health care delivery. These include new advanced-degree offerings in rehabilitation sciences, translational medicine, nutrition and metabolism, nursing practice, and more.

UTMB graduate students engage in field work to further their education ... and biomedical science.

UTMB graduate students engage in field work to further their education ... and biomedical science.

Our students benefit from state-ofthe- art training opportunities, such as surgical simulation, which allows multidisciplinary teams to practice procedures in realistic, low-risk scenarios, reducing errors and significantly improving patient safety. Our students also have many specialized tracks to choose from, including a global health program that has, to date, provided opportunities to learn and serve through more than 500 rotations on five continents. And, robust distance education programs enable many of our students to pursue their degrees regardless of distance or time constraints.

Our success is also due to a hard-wired commitment to interprofessional education, and the all-important team thinking and practice it makes possible down the road. And, a host of volunteer opportunities rounds out our programs of study for our service-minded students.

Through the Global Health Program, UTMB students have an impact around the world.

Through the Global Health Program, UTMB students have an impact around the world.

As we look ahead to the next 120 years and the expanding health needs of our state and nation, we are partnering with fellow University of Texas institutions to reenvision pre-medical and medical school education. Our goal is to make it more relevant to modern practice and reduce the amount of time it takes for a student to complete training and begin caring for patients. We have also begun planning for enrollment growth and are investing in facilities—such as the new Jennie Sealy Hospital and a proposed interprofessional education building—that will afford future health professionals the finest learning experiences and ensure their continued ability to improve lives in Texas and beyond for generations to come.

More than 34,000 graduates have passed through UTMB’s doors since its founding.

More than 34,000 graduates have passed through UTMB’s doors since its founding.