A new Baylor College of Medicine regional medical school campus will be established in Temple, Baylor Scott & White Health announced Tuesday.
Baylor Scott & White announced two separate academic affiliations: a new affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine that will start training doctors in Temple in 2023, and an expanded affiliation with longtime partner Texas A&M University. It will result in the expansion of its Dallas program with the eventual end of its program in Temple as Baylor College starts here.
Essentially, the health care system will be adding to its training of doctors in the state with a new partner in Temple.
Jim Hinton, CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health, said, “This affiliation is good for Texans in a number of ways. It will not only help us develop and keep more clinicians in a state that projects a continued physician shortage, it makes groundbreaking research from the country’s top institutions more available to the millions of Texans we serve each year.”
The new 20-year relationship with the Baylor College of Medicine will be anchored by the development of a progressive four-year regional medical school campus in Temple, which a Baylor Scott & White news release said will offer a curriculum highlighted by an approach that fully integrates health system and university resources to deliver adaptive and personalized medical education.
“This is a great opportunity to expand Baylor College of Medicine’s outstanding medical education programs to a regional medical school campus,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor College of Medicine. “We are looking forward to being in Temple.”
Both alliances are aimed at training future clinicians and developing programs that advance high-quality care and health care innovation, the news release said.
“We believe these long-term partnerships will ensure that our patients will have access to breakthrough medical discoveries and cutting-edge treatments from world-class physicians for generations to come,” Peter J. McCanna, president of Baylor Scott & White, said. He said it demonstrates their firm commitment to medical education throughout the health care system.
Additionally, the release said, the affiliation will allow for opportunities for expanded research and program development, with the ultimate goal of improving health and health care for Texans.
“I feel it is exciting for the whole health care system, and particularly for Temple,” Dr. Alex Arroliga, chief medical officer of Baylor Scott & White Health, said.
“We’re going to move the (future A&M) medical students from Temple to Dallas,” Arroliga said, creating space for the new Baylor College of Medicine students. “It’s a win-win for everybody because we’re going to have a health care relationship with Texas A&M in Dallas and here in Temple we’re going to have a new medical school with a top 25 (ranked) medical school in the country and probably the best one here in Texas.”
An inaugural class of 40 medical students is anticipated to begin training in fall 2023. The campus will increase by 40 students a year over four years, the release said.
“We have enough space to accommodate the number of students” who will be participating in the program, so no new buildings will be needed at this time, Arroliga said. It will be roughly the same number of students A&M had here, he said.
Arroliga and McCanna said the Texas A&M students currently being trained in Temple will continue to finish their studies here over the next 2½ to 3 years. At some point in 2023, Arroliga said, the first group of Baylor College medical students will be coming to Temple and the final class of fourth-year students from Texas A&M will be completing their time here.
Arroliga noted partnerships with other health care-related entities in Temple include Temple College, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and the Temple Veterans Administration facility.
“Hopefully, we’ll try to keep them here in Texas,” Arroliga said of the newly trained medical professionals.
Baylor College of Medicine said one goal of the new affiliation is to further expand the physician workforce pipeline for Texas with graduates having the opportunity to serve as future leaders in communities and providing outstanding clinical care for the people of Texas.
Hinton said, “With these new agreements, we are reaffirming our century-old commitment to education and, in fact, doubling our investment in medical student training."
The regional medical school campus in Temple will be overseen by the Baylor College of Medicine School of Medicine dean, and students will be educated by Baylor College of Medicine faculty members. Students will receive training in the state-of-the-art facilities at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple. The new medical school campus will expand Baylor College of Medicine’s total enrollment from 186 to 226 students per class.
They also will be expanding the Texas A&M Health Dallas Campus. Texas A&M Health has the ability to drive collaboration across the basic and life sciences through a full complement of health disciplines including dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health, and by partnering with the rest of Texas A&M University, one of the top Tier 1 research universities in the country, the release said.
More than 200 Texas A&M University College of Medicine students currently train at Baylor Scott & White Health facilities. Over the next three years, Texas A&M Health and Baylor Scott & White will leverage their strengths to grow the program to provide an exceptional learning environment for more than 300 students. A majority of those students will train at the Dallas campus, making it the largest regional medical campus for Texas A&M. The Texas A&M College of Medicine also has campuses in Bryan/College Station, Houston and Austin/Round Rock.
More than half of Texas A&M College of Medicine graduates stay in Texas for residency. The institutions are confident that the increased number of medical students being trained will produce future generations of physicians providing high-quality care to Texans.