FAME: Facilitated Acceptance to Medical Education



UT San Antonio
UT Health Science Center San Antonio

Program Description

The primary goal of the FAME Program is to train and graduate physicians who have acquired exceptional knowledge of the sciences basic to medical practice, in addition to acquiring professional skills, and a keen understanding of the social, cultural, and behavioral aspects of health care.

The pre-health professions program (PHPP) will cover areas of knowledge, skills, and values shared across all health professions. The curriculum is designed to allow exit points that enable students to pursue a variety of majors (e.g. biology, chemistry, kinesiology, philosophy, health, etc.) or pre-health professions (nursing, dentistry, etc.) with little to no loss of course credits. Eight (8) integrated science courses will be developed and taught jointly by UTSA and UTHSCSA faculty. By using faculty from both schools, faculty can tailor the basic science curriculum to focus on clinical application and relevance as well as introduce students to medical school pedagogy.

The heart of the FAME program is a series of 3.0-credit capstone courses students must take during each semester of the undergraduate experience. Characterized as "Gateway" courses to medical education, these capstone courses require students to examine a single public health issue through multiple perspectives. The Gateway courses are designed to augment the process of professional identify formation for the FAME students. As such, students will learn the ethical and professional values of medicine such as empathy, excellence, altruism, and integrity through a multidisciplinary approach that emphasizes the importance of communication, leadership, and health economics as well as the social and cultural aspects of patient care.

Once students have completed the requirements of the undergraduate curriculum, they will begin the MD curriculum at UTHSCSA. In academic year 2012-13, the School of Medicine will be implementing significant curricular changes for entering medical students. In keeping with national trends in undergraduate medical education, the new curriculum will improve integration of knowledge acquisition with clinical experience through innovative means. Following the completion of the first year of medical school, students will receive their baccalaureate degree from UTSA.

During the length of the program students will have to maintain a science and overall GPA of 3.4. A minimum MCAT of 27 with no subset scores less than 8 must be achieved to enter medical school along with a successful interview with the admissions committee. If a student exhibits any unprofessional behavior when enrolled in the FAME program, they will be asked to appear before the FAME faculty advisory committee.

Program evaluation will be planned and conducted by staff from the Academic Center for the Excellence in Teaching (ACET) at the HSC in conjunction with the FAME Leadership Team. The four-level Kirkpatrick Program Evaluation Model will guide data collection.


FAME Website

Quotes from FAME Campus Directors


Dana McDowelle, Ph.D.

Why is the T.I.M.E. initiative important? 
This unique program allows students an opportunity to complete degree requirements for both a bachelors and Doctor of Medicine degree in an abbreviated time period. Not only will it save costs associated with obtaining a medical degree, it will produce a physician who has received training which exceeds current curricular requirements.

What will this initiative mean to students? 
For those students who are interested in pursuing a career as a physician, the TIME program allows opportunities for early exposure to medical training. Students enrolled in the TIME program will have opportunities to increase understanding of a wide variety of aspects of the medical profession.

How is this initiative a good fit for your institution? 
The collaborative project with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the University of Texas at San Antonio is an opportunity for two campuses to use resources from both institutions to produce the best possible physicians focused on caring for patients in South Texas.

Hans Heidner, Ph.D.

Why is the T.I.M.E. initiative important?
The TIME initiative is important because it applies a rational and multi-faceted strategy for enhancing the quality and efficiency of medical education.

What will this initiative mean to students?
Undergraduate students participating in TIME-supported programs will experience a unique three-year undergraduate education that will include clinical experiences, mentoring, a medically-focused curriculum, and opportunities for early professional identity formation.

How is this initiative a good fit for your institution?
The initiative has attracted many exceptionally qualified students to the university and it has served as a model for how an undergraduate curriculum can be rationally redesigning and realigning to better serve our students.