A-PRIME: Accelerated Professional, Relevant, Integrated Medical Education



UT Brownsville
UT El Paso
UT Pan Am
UT Medical Branch at Galveston
UT Health Science Center - Houston

Program Description

The goal of the A-PRIME TIME partnership is to develop a new model of physician education that will be widely recognized for its innovative approach and educational effectiveness as well as the professionalism of its graduates. This proposal will detail a strategy to develop a unique program of medical education for a 21st century Texas that will

  • Be accessible to diverse groups of students and produce competent and compassionate physicians more efficiently and effectively,
  • Foster students to become caring and compassionate physicians by learning about the impact and expectations of a career in medicine while developing a professional identity early in their academic timetable,
  • Enable academic and medical institutions to jointly create a more efficient, coordinated, comprehensive, and relevant curriculum in a shortened timeframe and format,
  • Educate physicians trained and assessed in a range of cognitive, affective, and psycho-motor traits throughout their undergraduate and medical education, and, ultimately, achieve better health care outcomes for Texas.

By the year 2040, Hispanics will account for over 50% of all Texans and we need physicians who reflect and understand that population. UT Brownville, UT El Paso, and UT Pan Am are three of the five HSI's in the UT system. They are joined in this consortium by two medical school institutions: UT Medical School Houston and UT Medical Branch Galveston; both well known for making strong commitments to educating Hispanic students. Clearly, the success of this pilot could greatly impact the future of medical education and health care in Texas by supporting a more diverse medical school applicant pool.

Together, these institutions are developing a structured system where students progress through a continuum of academic and experiential learning opportunities in a swirled, or shared, environment that is significantly different than the very separate educational programs of today. This will be accomplished

  1. in the early years at the academic institutions working with the medical schools by a focus on developing basic knowledge, skills, professional identity, and attitudes through coursework and supervised experiences in the community,
  2. to be followed by the swirled, or transitional phase, where both the academic and medical institutions are heavily involved in the education process taking advantage of distance education, cooperative teaching environments with jointly developed programs, experiences, and assessments in a dual credit environment that will reduce the time to and cost of completion, and by
  3. a physical move of the students to the medical school where they will complete their medical doctor degree in a highly innovative, focused and supportive environment.

All phases of the educational continuum will be built on a platform of a jointly developed competency based assessment which will guide student advancement through the program beginning with a comprehensive pre-health professions program that sets the stage for developing a professional identity and continues through undergraduate and medical school. The curriculum will infuse many elements of the skills necessary for a 21st century physician such as basic and clinical sciences, technology, communication, cultural awareness, and other non-traditional topics that are essential for creating an educational system for the future of Texas' physicians.

A-PRIME Website

Quotes from APRIME Campus Directors

Hugo Rodriguez, M.D.

How is this initiative a good fit for your institution?
UTB has just established a new College of Biomedical Sciences and Health Professions. The TIME initiative is perfectly set to assist our faculty of new Department of Biomedicine to develop a BS in Biomedicine that will provide a unique curriculum that will markedly enhance physician and health professional education and training at UTB.

Michael Ainsworth, M.D.

How is this initiative a good fit for your institution?
TIME emphasizes aspects of medical education that UTMB has valued for many years – development of professional identity, exposure to clinical settings where learners can experience the world of medicine at the earliest stages of their career, and an environment that values the collegial atmosphere created by close student-faculty interaction. Yet, it also challenges us to go farther and explore new areas that will help us grow as an institution.

Gary Rosenfeld, Ph.D.

Why is the T.I.M.E. initiative important?
The TIME initiative will provide students with a more efficient, effective, and less costly pathway to the MD degree.

Donna E. Ekal, Ph.D.

Associate Provost, Office for Undergraduate Studies
University of Texas at El Paso

Why is the T.I.M.E. initiative important? 
The T.I.M.E. initiative is an opportunity for academic institutions and medical schools to work together in a new cooperative approach to educating the physicians of tomorrow in a way that will be more efficient and provide a richer educational experience for our students.

What will this initiative mean to students?
Our students will now have the chance to pursue their dreams of becoming a physician through a curriculum that reflects both the opportunities and needs of the 21st century supported by educators from both the academic institutions and medical schools who are now working together to create a modern and effective educational pathway.

How is this initiative a good fit for your institution?
UTEP is committed to the ideals of access and excellence for all our students and has a long tradition of successfully preparing our students for application to medical school. This initiative will only increase the opportunities for the students of our region while providing them an even more enriching preparation for a career in the medical professions.