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Schools of TTUHSC at El Paso

TTUHSC at El Paso

Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Reports

2011-2012 Annual Report

2010 Research Report

Since 1973, the El Paso campus has played an important role in El Paso’s health care history through education, research and patient care. The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso is now home to three schools. 

About the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) received more than 2,500 applications for its charter class. On July 9, 2009, the 40 students chosen from the applicant pool took their place in history. These students were selected not only for their high intellectual ability and strong record of scholastic achievement, but also for their varied backgrounds, interests, life experiences and qualities indicative of academic success. These students’ undergraduate universities included Texas Tech University, The University of Texas (Austin, El Paso, San Antonio, Dallas, Arlington, Brownsville, Permian Basin), Sul Ross University and the University of Houston. Also represented in the TTUHSC PLFSOM inaugural class were the University of Michigan, Rensselaer, Princeton, Baylor, Emory, Rice, Johns Hopkins and Harvard.

Medical students from the TTUHSC School of Medicine in Lubbock have been training on the El Paso campus for their third- and fourth-year for more than 38 years. The inaugural class began their third year in July 2011 and these TTUHSC-Lubbock students no longer train in El Paso.

Integration is the key to the curriculum of the PLFSOM. Unlike a traditional medical school, which requires students to wait until their third year of studies before they are introduced to the clinical sciences, students at the PLFSOM are immersed into the basic and clinical sciences in their first year. Students learn anatomy, biochemistry, physiology and other basic science concepts and content needed to understand specific clinical presentations (e.g., the patient with chest discomfort). From the first day of medical school, students are taught to think like a doctor. Active learning comes into play when students interact with highly complex mannequins that simulate everything from cardiac arrest to a vaginal birth in the Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation Center. Standardized patients, individuals trained to act out symptoms of certain conditions, help students learn how to diagnose specific conditions while also developing their people skills.

Not only is the curriculum integrative, but students are also integrated into the community. As the only four-year medical school on the U.S./Mexico border, students interact with their diverse community through the Society, Community and Individual Course. The course integrates medicine and public health by providing an arena that enhances Spanish language skills, provides an opportunity to experience community medicine and home visits while interacting with members of a healthcare team, and gives students the chance to experience culturally diverse populations.

The location of the PLFSOM provides students with insight to afflictions and circumstances known in developing countries, while still living in the United States. In the final two years of medical school, students interact with actual patients and gain knowledge in ways that no textbook or simulated situation could ever teach. These experiences provide students with the background to lead the nation in medical care and prevention upon graduation. For more information on the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine please visit: http://www.ttuhsc.edu/fostersom/.

About the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing
The Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing (GGHSON) is committed to preparing nursing students to meet the challenges of today's complex health care environment. In October 2010, the Hunt Family Foundation donated a $10 million gift to the Texas Tech University System to develop the autonomous, fully accredited schoo of nursing in El Paso. Gayle Greve Hunt is the wife of Woody L. Hunt, chairman of the Hunt Family Foundation and CEO of the Hunt Companies, headquartered in El Paso.

The GGHSON was established to counteract a long-term shortage of nurses who provide care to this medically-underserved area. The GGHSON is committed to preparing nursing students to meet the challenges of today’s complex health care environment, enriched by an environment of interdisciplinary teamwork. The exchange between students in the SON and the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine programs provides insight into the world both disciplines will have to navigate as a team.

Another reason for the need for nurses is an influx of approximately 36,000 U.S. Army service members assigned to Fort Bliss (located within the El Paso City limits) over the last three years. Many of these service members are female and will need maternal-child nursing care at some point. And many of the male service members have spouses and dependents of reproductive age. With the increasing shortage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in Texas and across the country, the GGHSON is committed to preparing nursing students to meet the challenges of today's complex health care environment.

In May 2013, the GGHSON received full accreditation for its baccalaureate degree program from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The school admitted students in September 2011 under initial approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Board of Nursing before achieving voluntary professional accreditation through CCNE.

The CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public’s health. A specialized/professional accrediting agency, CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate degree nursing programs, and post-baccalaureate nurse residency programs. CCNE has established a peer review process in accordance with nationally recognized standards established for the practice of accreditation in the United States and its territories. Accreditation by CCNE serves as a statement of good educational practice in the field of nursing. For more information on the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing please visit: http://www.ttuhsc.edu/elpaso/son/.

About the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
The El Paso branch campus of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences educational program is structured around a core curriculum in Biomedical Sciences, with opportunities for elective courses and research experiences in a broad range of laboratories. Their scientists are organized in programmatic Centers of Excellence in four areas: Cancer, Diabetes & Obesity, Infectious Diseases and Neuroscience. They currently have NIH funded programs in cancer endocrinology, cancer cell biology, natural product-based therapeutic discovery, HIV, West Nile

Virus, Influenza, nanomedicine, movement disorders, population genetics of psychiatric disorders, degenerative neurological diseases, and genetics of the special senses. They also have four state of the art core laboratories in histopathology, cytometry, genomics and proteomics, which are directed by doctoral-level scientists. These programs provide a rich and diverse environment for study in the biomedical sciences. 

The El Paso campus currently offers the Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences. Doctoral programs are available through the main campus in Lubbock, Texas, with opportunities for research experience and dissertation on the El Paso campus. For more information on the El Paso branch campus of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences please visit: http://www.ttuhsc.edu/gsbs/elpaso/.

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