Baylor College of Medicine, Central Texas VA sign affiliation agreement
Baylor College of Medicine and the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Temple, Texas, announced today a new affiliation where the VA will serve as one of the teaching hospitals for medical students training at the new Baylor College of Medicine School of Medicine regional campus in Temple.
In November 2020, Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor Scott & White Health announced an academic affiliation that included the development of a four-year medical school regional campus in Temple. The regional campus is set to welcome its inaugural class of medical students in summer 2023.
The VA will serve as one of the training sites for medical students, who begin clinical rotations after 18 months of didactic training. Medical students at the regional campus also will rotate at Baylor Scott & White Health campuses, including Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center.
“The VA will serve a vital role in training future physicians at our regional campus,” said Dr. Alejandro “Alex” Arroliga, regional dean of Baylor College of Medicine’s campus in Temple and chief medical officer at Baylor Scott & White Health. “Our students will have an opportunity to work with a diverse patient population as well as the honor of providing care for the men and women who served our country.”
“As one of four missions, the Department of Veterans Affairs educates and trains health professionals to enrich quality care, and enhance timely access to care for Veterans within the Veterans Health Administration health care system. It has been estimated that 70% of physicians in the U.S. received training within the VA, and we are eager to carry on this practice and partnership,” said Michael L. Kiefer, executive director of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System.
“The VA is at the heart of the Temple community, and its experienced healthcare team has a wealth of knowledge that will enrich our medical students,” said Dr. Christian Cable, associate dean of admissions and students at Baylor College of Medicine’s regional campus in Temple.
The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System serves more than 252,000 veterans, covers 35,000 square miles and 39 counties. The Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center in Temple is a tertiary care facility as well as teaching medical center, providing a full range of patient care services. The hospital has been involved in medical education in the Temple community for more than four decades.
“I am confident that trainees who are exposed to the health-specific needs of veterans are better equipped to meet the changing needs of the nation’s health care system; this collaboration is a win for the entire Central Texas community,” said Dr. Olawale O. Fashina, chief of staff of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System.
The partnership is an extension of Baylor’s longstanding relationship with the VA. In 1949, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston became the first affiliate teaching hospital for medical students at Baylor College of Medicine.
"We are so thrilled to partner with the VA and know that our students are going to get an outstanding education there,” said Dr. Jennifer Christner, senior dean of the School of Medicine and School of Health Professions at Baylor College of Medicine. “Rotating through our affiliate hospitals is an essential part of training our medical students and we appreciate their support and commitment to helping us train future healthcare leaders.”