AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Board of Regents today (Aug. 12) authorized $4 million to support a new initiative geared toward improving medical education.
The program, called the Transformation in Medical Education Initiative – or TIME – will design, develop and implement pilot and demonstration projects to address challenges in physician education, including duplication of undergraduate and graduate courses, curriculum duration and expense.
Projects will focus on three programmatic areas considered necessary to transform medical education: developing undergraduate pre-health professions programs for students in a variety of health-related fields; implementing competency-based advancement and degree completion rather than time-based program completion; and combining condensed classroom education with opportunities for personal and professional maturation afforded by a well-rounded liberal arts education and real-life experiences in community leadership roles.
“This initiative is further testament to the UT System’s commitment to continually strive for ways to improve our core missions and the duty to ensure that the next generation of medical professionals receives the benefit of cutting-edge teaching methods,” Regents’ Chairman Colleen McHugh said.
“These efforts will produce a more efficient means of delivering medical education to physicians and other health professionals, and it is gratifying to see the Board of Regents support the UT System in taking a leadership role for what will become a best practice in the medical education arena,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D.
Funds for the initiative will come from the Available University Fund (AUF) and will allow the UT System to issue requests for proposals to initiate projects for participating UT System health institutions, with an emphasis on program efforts that include a sufficient number of students in a pilot project to evaluate program outcomes. A steering committee will review responses to the proposal requests and, if approved, will be awarded for two- to three-year periods.
The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.