LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As the Texas Tech School of Medicine celebrates 50 years in Lubbock, did you know that initially, it was a plan that met a lot of opposition?
Dr. Steven Berk, Dean of the School of Medicine, says nobody thought West Texas was big enough to support a medical school, but look at it today.
He recalls another surprise that this medical school has brought for women.
Dr. Berk says, “That first year started very small. There were only 30 men and 3 women. Now, 50 years later, 720 medical students, 180 per class, larger than the average medical school.”
He makes this comparison to the students today, “This will be the third class where there are more women than men. So now, the whole medical school will have slightly more women than men.”
Dr. Berk says he is proud of many accomplishments at the School of Medicine, including the quality and competitiveness of the medical students now.
He says a lot of the students today had their choice of many other medical schools before deciding to go to Texas Tech. He says they choose TTUSOM “because of the quality of the curriculum and the high board pass rate and the overall satisfaction of medical students.”
Dr. Berk is particularly proud of the Family Medicine Accelerated Track which he developed as a solution to a national problem.
Too many new doctors were going into specialties instead of Family Medicine, partly to ensure that they could cover the debt of student loans to get them through four years of medical school. The Fast Track program instead squeezes four years of study in Family Practice into an aggressive three-year program with less debt.
As a result of this successful program, many other schools across the country have adopted the same Fast Track option based on what was started at Texas Tech.
In this interview, Dr. Berk recalls a lot of accomplishments of the School of Medicine in these 50 years. And for those who are considering a career in medicine, he has some advice for you too.
You can view the whole thing in the video above.