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Looking to heal the underserved, there are about to be some doctors in the house at U of H AP Photo/Brandon Wade
University of Houston mascot Shasta during a pep rally at the Cotton Bowl, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Houston’s Texas Medical Center is the largest medical complex in the world, and it takes a lot of doctors to keep it on the forefront of medicine.

This is possibly in part why, after a recent vote by the Board of Regents, the University of Houston (U of H) may be contributing to their workforce as soon as 2020.

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The board approved a new U of H School of Medicine, which they said will focus on training primary care physicians to treat underserved urban and rural communities in Houston and Texas.

Since studies show 68 percent of medical residents stay in the community where they completed graduate school, the new school could be a boon for Houston and the Gulf Coast region.

The city’s most recent school of medicine opened in 1972, after which the Bayou City grew by 4 million people, Census data shows.

While Houston is home to some of the best care facilities in the world, officials remained concerned by the city’s large populations of underserved, economically disadvantaged residents who also reportedly suffer from poor health.

“Training the next generation of physician leaders meets a clear and growing demand in Texas,” UH President Renu Khator said in an interview. “A new medical school will complement, not compete, with other strong institutions already in place.  We have an obligation to serve the city by responding to the economic, social and cultural issues affecting the quality of life in Houston.”

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One of the college’s goals is to educate a more diverse workforce to reflect Houston’s reputation as the most diverse city in the nation; university leaders say they expect the medical school’s full enrollment to be around 480, with 130 faculty and support staff.

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