Who says there's no such thing as a free ride?
The inaugural 2020 class at the University of Houston's new medical school -- 30 students -- will have their entire tuition paid, thanks to an anonymous, $3 million donation.
“Student debt is the number one deterrent for students when applying to medical school,” said Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston in a statement.
“This generous gift will allow such students an opportunity to attend and ultimately lead the future medical workforce," he said in the statement. "As a result, the UH College of Medicine will increase access to primary care, enhance quality of life and strengthen Houston as a business destination.”
The school aims to have at least 50 percent of each graduating class specialize in primary care, a response to an ongoing shortage of primary care doctors in the Houston area, officials said.
Texas ranks 47th out of 50 states in primary care physician-to-population ratio.
The anonymous donor received praise from the university staffers when the massive donation was announced yesterday.
“These early contributions to the College of Medicine are a crucial endorsement of the vision and the need for our College of Medicine,” said Eloise Brice, vice president for university advancement, in a statement. “I’m very encouraged by the generosity of our donors in response to the need for primary care in our community.”
The UH College of Medicine wants to develop a reputation for producing of quality doctors and providing ‘high-value’ health care, UH College of Medicine vice president of medical affairs and founding dean Dr. Stephen J. Spann said in the statement.
“Thanks to this amazing gift, we’re one step closer to becoming a major resource for the community by addressing the shortage of primary care physicians.”
The school is scheduled to admit 30 students in the fall of 2020 incoming class, pending approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas Legislature, and accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.