It’s not obvious if you live in an urban middle class neighborhood or in the shadows of the largest medical center in the world, but in rural areas woven throughout the fourth largest city in the nation there are health care deserts. Hospitals and clinics are rare or nonexistent, and residents have limited means to access preventative health care.

Texas has roughly 20,000 active primary care physicians. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the state will need to add another 6,400 by 2030. This deficit is what has driven the University of Houston to navigate a path laden with political, financial and administrative hurdles to establish a College of Medicine. Primary care will be the focus of this new College of Medicine. The last medical school in Houston opened in 1972 when the population of the metropolitan area was a third of today’s more than six million.

The College of Medicine has received broad community support throughout Houston, including UH alumni who rose to the occasion last fall, sending letters of support to their legislators.



The UH College of Medicine has a goal for 50 percent of its graduates to practice in primary care specialties. The strategy to reach what is considered an ambitious mark starts with recruiting students whose characteristics are more predictive for a career in family practice. In addition to the demonstrated need, the University has a plan to build the College of Medicine on long-existing health programs and research. Nursing, pharmacy, optometry, psychology, audiology, social work and innovation from engineering and architecture are just some of the disciplines that will contribute to the College’s holistic educational approach. UH is also finalizing an agreement with HCA Houston Healthcare for nearly 400 residency slots in area hospitals.

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