UT Med School

Real Estate Agent with Goldwasser Real Estate

One of the big attractions our city has for newcomers and long-time residents alike is the cultural, intellectual, and economic powerhouse that is the University of Texas.  There is one thing, however, that has always seemed somewhat missing from our "university of the first class." 

San Antonio has one.  Houston has a couple.  Even Waco's got one, and a pretty good one, at that.  In fact, Austin is the second-largest city in the country that doesn't have one.  It seems that in 1883, ours got built in Galveston for reasons that ranged from state politics to the abundant supply of semi-tropical disease on the barrier island.

That's right-it's a medical school.  And anyone who knows anything about the biotech or healthcare industries can tell you that having one in River City would be a boost to a lot more than just the real estate it's going to get built on. 

Now, we already have the University Medical Center at Brackenridge, formerly know simply as "Brackenridge Hospital", and as their recent name change suggests ("We've changed our name to University Medical Center at Brackenridge because of our exciting new programs and innovations. We're especially proud of our efforts to expand our role in academic medicine"), they'd like to be a little closer to a med school then they currently are.  But they're still not a med school.

Austin may not have too long to wait, though.  At a recent fundraising luncheon for Brackenridge, the mood was, to say the least, expectant:

Charles Barnett, president and CEO of the Seton Family of Hospitals, put it this way: The question is not whether Austin will get a medical school, but when. State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said he thinks the city will get one "in the near future."

According to the UT system's executive vice chancellor for health affairs, the Board of Regents should let us know in two to four months whether we'll be able to join Waco in the big leagues. 

If the school comes, it will be in the form of a branch of the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, "the state's most prestigious public medical school."  Concrete benefits of a med school would include strengthening safety net for Austinites not able to afford hospital care and the elevation of the Brack emergency department's trauma center to a level one center (right now, we've got the only level two trauma center in central Texas.  Take that, Waco).

As for just which chunk of real estate the school will call home, that's a somewhat open question: 

"The Board of Regents has not had formal discussions concerning locations for expanding medical education programs in Austin," said Anthony de Bruyn, a UT System spokesman. "Everything's on the table."

There are three good sites on or near the UT campus, within walking distance to current facilities like the nursing school and Brack.  The fourth site is at the Mueller Airport redevelopment, near the new Dell Children's Medical Center.


Comments (2)

Greg Hampton
Re/Max Around The Mountains - Blue Ridge, GA
North Georgia Mountain Property,Blue Rid
When I saw UT I thought you might have been talking about The University of Tenn.
May 08, 2008 12:49 PM
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX
UT Southwestern is an OUTSTANDING medical school and a branch of it in Austin would be an oustanding addition to the community... I hope you get it sooner rather than later!
May 08, 2008 12:53 PM