Texas A&M University College of Medicine

By: S. H. Black

Type: General Entry

Published: April 9, 2002

Updated: August 5, 2020

The Texas A&M University College of Medicine had its beginnings in 1971, when the Texas legislature authorized the Texas College and University System Coordinating Board to designate a state institution of higher learning "for the establishment, operation, and maintenance of a medical school to be located at or in connection with any Veterans Administration facility that may be made available for that purpose." On August 29, 1972, the board of directors of the Texas A&M University System authorized Texas A&M to present a request to the Coordinating Board for such designation and reaffirmed its proposal on May 1, 1973, for a new medical school to be established and operated under the terms of the Veterans Administration Medical School Assistance and Health Manpower Training Act of 1972. On June 8, 1973, in special session, the Coordinating Board designated Texas A&M University as the state-supported university system to administer a program in medical education. Application was made to the Veterans Administration on December 1, 1973, and announcement was made on December 19, 1975, of an award of $17,071,609 in support of the new program. In the meantime, James A. Knight, M.D., was appointed dean of medicine, and negotiations were completed with the Veterans Administration in Washington and with Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple for conduct of the newly funded program. Provisional accreditation, requested of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the American Medical Association and of the Association of American Medical Colleges, was granted October 21, 1976, and the charter class entered the newly established College of Medicine on August 22, 1977. Full accreditation was awarded on April 30, 1981. The first class of thirty-two physicians graduated on June 6, 1981. In 1991 the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System established the Texas A&M University Health Science Center with the College of Medicine as the initial focal program.

From its inception, the College of Medicine has flourished. The faculty, which numbered over 600 in the 1990s, is composed of basic scientists, physicians who are on the professional staff of the affiliated hospitals, physicians in solo or small group practice in Brazos and adjacent counties, and private practitioners in family practice throughout Texas. Its research budget, in excess of $3 million annually, supports the research activities of the faculty as well as the operation of five research institutes (Microcirculation Research, Molecular Pathogenesis and Therapeutics, Ocular Pharmacology, Occupational Medicine, and Clinical Outcomes Assessment) and two centers (for Health Systems and Technology and for the Study of Cell Surfaces). Its educational program includes not only undergraduate medical education leading to the M.D. degree but also graduate education in the sciences basic to medicine leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The primary mission of the College of Medicine is the education of students of medicine. With the resources enumerated above, students have available to them a wide range of experiences in basic science and clinical medicine. Indeed, the juxtapositioning of a major public research university (Texas A&M University), an exemplary private multispecialty group medical practice (Scott and White Memorial Hospital and Clinic), and the medical program of a federal agency (Veterans Administration) represents a constellation of strengths with unusual opportunities. Further complementing this original assemblage of institutions was the addition, in 1989, of Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood, an institution that provides the health care needs for the large armored military installation. The remarkable configuration of participating institutions, each preserving its separate identity, strives to integrate the strengths and resources of each and offers opportunities for education, research and service that are unmatched in the country.

Since the summer of 1983, the administration and College Station-based departments of the College of Medicine have occupied the Joe H. Reynolds Medical Building on the campus of Texas A&M University, where the first two years of instruction take place. In 1985 the Learning Resources and Biomedical Communications Units, together with the Medical Sciences Library, moved into adjacent facilities. The clinical campus of the College of Medicine consists of the Scott and White Memorial Hospital and Clinic, the rOlin E. Teague Veterans Cente, and the Darnall Army Community Hospital in Temple, where the second two years of instruction take place. In addition, the College of Medicine is affiliated with the Veterans Administration hospitals in Marlin and Waco, the A. P. Beutel Health Center at Texas A&M University, Humana Hospital in College Station, St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan, Planned Parenthood of Brazos County, Grimes Memorial Hospital in Navasota, St. Jude Hospital in Brenham, and Madison County Hospital in Madisonville. Enrollment in 2001 was 275.

  • Education
  • Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals
  • Health and Medicine

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

S. H. Black, “Texas A&M University College of Medicine,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-a-m-university-college-of-medicine.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 9, 2002
August 5, 2020

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