UT Southwestern school renamed to recognize health professions

Dr. Raul Caetano
Dr. Raul Caetano

DALLAS — Aug. 27, 2008 — The UT Southwestern School of Allied Health Sciences has a new name UT Southwestern School of Health Professions that better encompasses the mission of the school, which is to educate health professionals.

The UT System Board of Regents approved the change on Aug. 14. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved it on Aug. 21.

Dr. Raul Caetano, dean of the renamed UT Southwestern School of Health Professions, said the name change aligns the school with a national trend away from the term “allied health.”

Between 1994 and 2000, the percentage of schools in the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions that used the term “allied health” dropped from 50 percent to 37 percent, he said.

“There has been a general dissatisfaction with the term ‘allied health’ for quite a while because it’s very vague,” Dr. Caetano said. “Since there are so many new programs and professions entering the field, many educators feel that identifying these schools or colleges as learning institutions for health professions is more recognizable.”

Dr. Caetano said the school’s fundamental programming remains unchanged, and the renaming won’t affect current existing accreditations within the school or re-accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“Nothing but the name is going to change,” Dr. Caetano said, adding that the allied health schools at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and UT Medical Branch in Galveston have also been renamed. 

Each year, more than 300 students enroll in UT Southwestern School of Health Professions to prepare for careers in fields ranging from physical therapy to clinical dietetics.

In May, UT Southwestern became the first UT System school and the second public university in Texas to offer a doctor of physical therapy degree. The health professions school offers master’s degrees in biomedical illustration, physician assistant studies and rehabilitation counseling, as well as bachelor’s degrees in clinical dietetics, medical technology, prosthetics-orthotics and radiation therapy. Certificates are available in clinical dietetics, emergency medicine education (emergency medical technician and paramedic), radiation therapy and medical laboratory sciences (blood bank technology and medical technology).

The radiation therapy program, the first in North Texas and one of three statewide, began its first classes in August. The physician assistant masters program is ranked fourth in the nation.


Media Contact: Kristen Holland Shear

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