The origin of UT Southwestern Medical Center lies in the years before World War II, when a group of Dallas citizens formed the Southwestern Medical Foundation to encourage medical education and research in the area. At the time, Baylor University had the only medical school in Dallas, then a city of fewer than 300,000 people. In 1943, however, Baylor decided to move its school to Houston so the Foundation formed the Southwestern Medical College. The facilities consisted of a few abandoned wartime barracks housing a small library, classrooms, a few laboratories, and an animal facility.
After the war, the University of Texas decided to add a medical school. The Foundation volunteered to help, provided the school was established in Dallas, because it already had an infrastructure in place. The university system agreed and in 1949, it became the Southwestern Medical School of the University of Texas, established in the buildings leftover from the old medical college. The school moved to its present site on Harry Hines Boulevard in 1954, setting up next to the new Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas’ large public hospital. (Parkland became famous Nov. 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.)
UT Southwestern Today
The institution has gone through several name changes and is now UT Southwestern Medical Center, of which the Medical School is a part, along with the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Health Professions. UT Southwestern has five affiliated hospitals, including Parkland, Zale Lipshy University Hospital, St. Paul University Hospital, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, and the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Southwestern in the top 25 percent in the country in research and primary care – one of fewer than two dozen schools to attain that level in both categories. Our faculty has won five Nobel Prizes and has 19 members of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1986, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute opened a molecular biology research facility on campus – bringing a distinguished research faculty who also hold faculty positions with the school.
The Next Phase
UT Southwestern continues to move forward, educating the next generation of physicians and researchers. In 2011, we began construction on the new $800 million state-of-the-art William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. The 12-story, 424-bed facility, slated to open in 2015, is an essential component of UT Southwestern’s commitment to become one of the top 10 comprehensive academic medical centers in the nation.