The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine is the realization of the decades-long effort of community leaders and other supporters to establish a medical school in the Valley to provide health care to a region that historically has been burdened by health disparities.
In 1997, the Texas Legislature approved Senate Bill 606, which allowed The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA)—now known at UT Health San Antonio—to open a Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) to train physicians who would practice medicine in the Valley. UTHSCSA opened its Medical Education Division in 2002 in Harlingen and its Medical Research Division in 2006 in Edinburg. In 2009, the Texas Legislature approved for The University of Texas System Board of Regents to create a medical school, using the resources from the RAHC, for the Valley in the future.
Three years later, The UT System Board of Regents approved the creation of a new university and medical school in the Rio Grande Valley, using resources from two universities within the UT System—The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College and The University of Texas-Pan American—and the RAHC.
In June 2013, The Texas Legislature approved the creation of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and its School of Medicine. Two years later, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine welcomed its first 42 medical residents in six hospital-based training programs. The UTRGV School of Medicine received preliminary accreditation from the LCME in October 2015, which allowed the School of Medicine to recruit for its first class.
The UTRGV School of Medicine welcomed its charter class of 55 medical students in the summer of 2016.
The UTRGV School of Medicine now has more than 200 medical students and over 200 medical residents and fellows serving in nine hospital-based training programs throughout the Valley, with more training programs on the horizon.