Health Systems

How Baylor Scott & White’s New Medical School Partnership Will Impact Dallas Healthcare

The health system is reestablishing a relationship with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and realigning Texas A&M's medical presence in DFW.

A new medical school in Temple will reestablish the connection between Baylor Scott and White Health and Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine, the state’s top-ranked medical school. Meanwhile, Texas A&M’s medical school is moving its Temple campus to Dallas. But what does this all mean for healthcare in North Texas?

The developments are another example of a medical school establishing strong ties with a health system, similar to what exists at Johns Hopkins or NYU, bringing together a widespread community hospital system with an academic research institution. Closer to home, UTSW Medical Center’s partnership with Texas Health Resources is making a similar connection, giving the academic center wider reach. At the same time, the hospital system has better access to the expertise of a research institution.

Original Baylor College of Medicine in Dallas, 1906 (Courtesy: BSW Health)

Baylor Scott and White is already the most extensive nonprofit health system in the state, with 52 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points. The new partnerships will add academic medical centers in both Dallas and Temple, strengthening the partnerships between academic medicine and hospital systems in North Texas. The new private medical school in Temple will be integrated with the health system, with students doing their clinical studies in Baylor Scott & White facilities in Temple. In 2023, the first class of 40 students will begin their studies, adding 40 students each year until there are four classes. Baylor College of Medicine was founded in 1900 and was affiliated with the health system until 1943 when the college was asked to join the newly launched M.D. Anderson cancer center.

 In effect, the partnership provides a more direct pipeline for the Baylor Scott & White health system, which has dozens of hospitals in North Texas. The new school will also help address the shortages of physicians statewide. According to the state department of health, North Texas is already experiencing critical shortages in cardiology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychiatry. For the latter three, less than 70 percent of demand for those physicians was met in the region in 2018. By 2032, the state expects increased shortages. Statewide, Texas is projected to have a shortage of 20,420 physicians by 2030.

The partnership with A&M will also grow the number of students training in Dallas. There are already 200 Texas A&M University College of Medicine students training in BSW facilities around the state, but over the next three years, that number will grow to 300 students, most of whom will train at the Baylor University Medical Campus in Dallas.

Medical students are likely to stay in Texas for residency if they go to medical school in the state, and 59 percent of students who complete their medical education in Texas end up staying in the state. Baylor’s new Temple campus and recently opened campuses in El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley, and Fort Worth address those shortages.

The partnership with A&M will also grow the number of students training in Dallas. There are already 200 Texas A&M University College of Medicine students training in BSW facilities around the state, but over the next three years, that number will grow to 300 students, most of whom will train at the Baylor University Medical Campus in Dallas.

Medical students are likely to stay in Texas for residency if they go to medical school in the state, and 59 percent of students who complete their medical education in Texas end up staying in the state. Baylor’s new Temple campus and recently opened campuses in El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley, and Fort Worth address those shortages.

The partnerships could impact care by expanding the research capabilities of the system. By strengthening relationships with academic institutions, the patients may benefit from studies, trials, and new developments that come out of the partnership. “This is the advantage of a health system in modern medicine,” says Peter J. McCanna, president of Baylor Scott & White. “The data used to provide diagnostic techniques, and clinical research will be able to take advantage of the size and breadth of the health system. It is a culture that brings the latest treatments and insights to our patients.”

“Education makes us better as a healthcare system,” says Dr. Alejandro Arroliga, Chief Medical Officer at Baylor Scott & White. “In order to educate, we need to be up and running with the latest techniques. With evidence-based medicine at Baylor Scott & White provided by an integrated healthcare system, we have the opportunity to influence the culture.”

Baylor Scott & White have been evaluating medical school partners for over a year and received several applications for a new medical school partnership from in-state and out-of-state applicants. “We evaluated a lot of fine schools, but both of these schools really demonstrated an alignment of our medical education and research,” McCanna says. “The two fine institutions were Texas-based, which as important as well, as they understand the challenges of the state.”

The agreement between the two Baylors is set at 20 years for now, but these affiliations are rarely changed once established. BSW is high on the future of the partnership for Texas. “These affiliations are good for Texans in a number of ways,” says Jim Hinton, CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health. “They will not only help us develop and keep more clinicians in a state that projects a continued physician shortage, they make groundbreaking research from the country’s top institutions more available to the millions of Texans we serve each year.”

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