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This week, the Texas House approved plans for two new medical schools. Both medical schools will be in the Houston area. Sam Houston State University was approved to start an osteopathic school. The second medical school will be the University of Houston College of Medicine. Both schools still need Senate approval.

Currently, Texas ranks 47th out of the 50 states for the number of primary care physicians per 100,000 residents. In fact, the population of Houston has tripled since the last medical school opened in 1972. That should change soon. Let’s assume these two new medical schools receive final approval. They would then join the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, the Texas Tech University System and the University of North Texas Health Science Center as relatively new medical schools.

State Rep John Zerwas stated, “The University of Houston College of Medicine will address the need for more primary care physicians in Texas, but just as important, they are creating new residency slots for medical students. Ultimately, we’ll be able to keep more doctors in Texas, which will improve the health of our state, especially in underserved communities.”

We commend Texas on the steps they’ve taken to address their physician shortage. The new medical schools and residency slots are in stark contrast to the policies under consideration in Alaska.

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