PACT: Partnership in Advancing Clinical Transition


UT Dallas
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Partnership Description

The UT Partnership in Advancing Clinical Transition (UT PACT) is a collaborative program between UT Southwestern Medical School and UT Dallas that will enhance the training of health care professionals through a new integrated curriculum that bridges the foundations of undergraduate education to an innovative clinical training program leading to the doctor of medicine degree. The UT PACT will build upon a new undergraduate curriculum where clinical relevance is incorporated into basic science courses, meaningful exposure to patients and training in communication skills begin after the first year, and professional identity formation is fostered by early contact with medical school faculty.

This proposal seeks support for the UT PACT, in response to the RFP for the Transformation in Medical Education (TIME) Initiative announced by The UT System in October 2010. This 3-year project, during fiscal years 2011-13, focuses on curriculum development, implementation of a pilot program, and assessment to establish "proof of concept". The UT PACT will provide an accelerated pathway leading to receipt of both a baccalaureate (B.S.) and medical degree (M.D.). The proposed curriculum has two pathways: Clinician Track — in preparation for a practice-based career and designed to be completed in 6 years, Academician Track — for those considering a career in academic medicine and which includes an additional year for a research project or Master's thesis.

The UT PACT curriculum is being developed in a synergistic partnership between UTD – UTSWMC that builds upon existing collaborative programs and the advantages of proximity in the metroplex. The program will be highly interactive between the two institutions, with instruction by medical school faculty beginning in the summer after the freshman year. Curriculum development will be guided by joint participation from faculty at both campuses to ensure core competencies are met, professional identity formation is promoted, and objective measures for outcomes are developed. A pilot program will be implemented in the fall of 2012 with enrollment of up to 20.

The UT PACT will bring innovative changes to medical education in the UT System through the implementation of a competency-based curriculum, revision of the content to achieve greater clinical relevance, formalized instruction to promote professional identity formation, and an optimized time line to complete the training to 6 or 7 years.


PACT Website

Quotes from PACT Campus Directors

Steve Cannon

Steve Cannon, M.D.

Why is the T.I.M.E. initiative important?
"The importance of the TIME initiative is that it offers so much more than an expedited pathway to the combined baccalaureate and doctor of medicine degrees. The direct involvement of faculty from medicine and other health professions throughout the training period, plus the creation of a competency-based approach that will bring undergraduate students to a level of preparedness not previously seen for entering medical students, create the opportunity for a truly revolutionary advance for training in health care professions."


Richard Scotch, Ph.D.

It's not about getting M.D.s out faster. It about creating better M.D.s: better prepared, better performing, better professionals, and yes do this on an accelerated time scale.

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