(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine will be provided $33 million from the state for expansion plans at its campuses in Bryan-College Station, Temple and Round Rock following the signing of legislation June 15 by Gov. Rick Perry.

Funds will be used to expand existing programs on the Bryan-College Station and Temple campuses, developing full four-year programs in both communities. A new two-year clinical campus also will be established in Round Rock.

“As the state faces a physician shortage, it is gratifying that our legislative leaders are investing in the expansion of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine as part of the solution,” said Nancy Dickey, M.D., President of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs for the Texas A&M System. “Building upon many years of investment in both Temple and Bryan-College Station is sound business, and expansion into Round Rock is an exciting bonus. The Texas A&M Health Science Center trains excellent physicians; now there will be more Aggie docs for Texas.”

“This is a significant and extremely important investment, and we are grateful to Gov. Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, House Speaker Tom Craddick, state Sens. (Steve) Ogden and (Troy) Fraser, and state Reps. (Dan) Gattis, (Dianne White) Delisi and (Mike) Krusee for their confidence in us,” said Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., Jean and Thomas McMullin Dean of Medicine. “This investment recognizes our long-standing success between the College of Medicine and Scott & White and recognizes the opportunities for growth and health system partnerships in Round Rock.”

The incoming group of HSC-COM medical students arriving this fall will expand the class size from 80 to 100 students, with an eventual goal of matriculating more than 200 students by 2012.

“The funding will enable us to dramatically expand our basic science research faculty in both Bryan-College Station and Temple campuses, recruit talented physician scientists and educators, and develop new community sites for training of medical students,” Dr. Colenda said.

“Importantly, we know that we are training future physicians for Texas,” Dr. Colenda continued, “as more than 70 percent of our graduates have stayed in Texas.”

The past year has seen significant changes for the HSC-COM. The Texas A&M System Board of Regents approved its request to incrementally expand from 80 to 200 students per class, and the college also received funding to construct a new research building on the future HSC campus in Bryan.

In July, the Class of 2011 will begin its studies with 100 M.D. and five M.D./Ph.D. students coming to the Bryan-College Station and Temple campuses. Not only is this class the largest group of incoming students to date, but it also will be the first to begin basic science training on both campuses.

Founded in 1977, the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine is committed to educating, training and equipping physicians who are compassionate about their patients and dedicated to the communities in which they serve. Located on the Texas A&M University campus and at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, the college consists of approximately 700 basic scientists and clinicians who instruct students during the course of their medical education. The HSC-COM’s primary clinical affiliate, Scott & White, is ranked as one of the top 15 teaching hospitals in the nation.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its six components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, and the School of Rural Public Health.

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