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Fort Worth’s new medical school needs students. Did you know the first year is free?

Fort Worth medical school gets accreditation

Fort Worth's new School of Medicine gains preliminary accreditation. Students can start applying soon.
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Fort Worth's new School of Medicine gains preliminary accreditation. Students can start applying soon.

The inaugural class of Fort Worth’s new medical program can begin applying in November for slots because it has been awarded preliminary accreditation.

The medical school is a partnership of TCU and the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education awarded the preliminary accreditation.

The next step? Finding students.

“It is the grand finale for us to now do the next thing, which is to recruit students and train physicians,” said Dr. Staurt D. Flynn, the medical school’s founding dean. “Without today, that doesn’t happen.”

Flynn said taking applications is a matter of setting up a tool on a website.

“Hopefully, in a matter of days,” Flynn said, shortly after the accreditation was announced Friday at a media event held at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

Leaders for the two universities and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price were among leaders who announced Friday this latest chapter for the emerging program. The ceremonial event included short speeches amid a crowd wearing TCU purple and North Texas green, the color used by UNTHSC.

TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. and UNTHSC President Michael R. Williams talked about the importance of the project and how it evolved from an idea to Fort Worth’s new medical school.

Price said the new school is expected to add about $4 billion to the local economy by 2030. It also addresses the growing demand for doctors.

“It’s critical to Fort Worth. It’s a high-growth city. We need more doctors all the time. You educate them locally and they are a lot more likely to stay with you.”

The school will focus on developing “Empathetic Scholars,” physicians who are able to connect one-on-one with patients while excelling in science.

“It will be a new type med school with a great physician patient relationship,” Price said. “It goes great with our compassionate city.”

Dr. Stuart Flynn, the new dean for the new TCU/UNT Health Science Center arrived in Fort Worth from Arizona where he was dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix since 2008. (Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner)

The inaugural class at the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine will have 60 students when classes begin in July. The accreditation is a major step in opening the school.

Community and school leaders expect to draw strong candidates who are looking for an affordable program.

“If you were going to med school, a student — looking for a great school —wouldn’t you want to go to one where your tuition is paid for the first year?” Price said.

The first medical students will be known as Dorman Scholars, in honor of Paul Dorman, chairman and CEO of Fort Worth-based DFB Pharmaceuticals. The Fort Worth businessman is donating the first year of tuition for the first class.

The school’s website lists the tuition and fees cost for the first as zero. The website states living expenses are $25,000.

TCU and UNTHSC joined in July 2015 to form the new medical school. Classes will be held at both campuses. This month, UNTHSC opened a new Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building. Two floors in the $121 million facility will be devoted to the new medical school, according to a new release.

Next steps

Over the next couple of weeks, the School of Medicine will be working to achieve membership to the Association of American Medical Colleges, which will provide access to the American Medical College Application Service or AMCAS.

Upon gaining membership, the School of Medicine will begin accepting applications in November.

Prospective students can go to mdschool.tcu.edu/admissions for more information on the application process.

UNTHSC and TCU work together to create a new medical school in Fort Worth. (Star-Telegram/Video by Diane Smith with photos from Max Faulkner)

This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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