Baylor College of Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, US, is a health sciences university. It includes a medical school, Baylor College of Medicine; the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; the School of Allied Health Sciences; and the National School of Tropical Medicine. The school, located in the middle of the world's largest medical center (Texas Medical Center),[2] is part owner of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, part of the CHI St. Luke's Health system, and has hospital affiliations with: Harris Health System, Texas Children's Hospital, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Hermann – The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, Menninger Clinic, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Children's Hospital of San Antonio.[3]

Baylor College of Medicine
TypePrivate medical school
EndowmentUS $1.3 billion (2018)[1]
Academic staff
4,539 (2,173 full-time, 538 part-time, 1,741 voluntary, and 87 emeritus)
Postgraduates1,552 (747 in medical school, 615 in graduate school, and 190 in allied health) postdocs = 582 postdoctoral fellows
Location, ,
CampusUrban, Texas Medical Center
Location within Texas Medical Center

The medical school has been consistently considered in the top tier of programs in the country,[4][5][6] and is particularly noted for having the lowest tuition among all private medical schools in the US.[7] Its Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is among the top 25 graduate schools in the United States.[8] Within the School of Allied Health Sciences, the Nurse anesthetist program ranks 2nd[9] and the physician assistant program ranks 13th. A program in Orthotics and Prosthetics began in 2013, with 18 students in the first class. The National School of Tropical Medicine is the only school in the nation dedicated exclusively to patient care, research, education and policy related to neglected tropical diseases.

On June 21, 2010, Dr. Paul Klotman was named as the President and CEO of the Baylor College of Medicine.[10] In January 2014, the College and CHI St. Luke's became joint owners of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center.


The school was formed in Dallas, Texas[11] by a small group of Baylor University alumni physicians who aimed to improve medical practice in North Texas. Originally called the University of Dallas Medical Department, the school opened its doors October 30, 1900, with 81 students. Dr. Albert Ferdinand Beddoe, A.B., M.D. was a co-founder, alongside Samuel Hollingsworth Stout, who served as its founding dean from 1902 to 1903.[12] Meanwhile, Beddoe established the chair of Diseases of Children and became a professor. He built up the free clinic in connection with Baylor hospital.

In 1903, an alliance with Baylor University in Waco was formed and the name was changed to Baylor University College of Medicine.

By 1918, Baylor University College of Medicine was the only private medical school in Texas. The M.D. Anderson Foundation invited Baylor to join the newly formed Texas Medical Center in Houston in 1943. The school opened in the medical center July 12, 1943, in a converted Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse, with 131 students. Four years later, Baylor moved to its present site in the Roy and Lillie Cullen Building, the first building completed in the Texas Medical Center.

In 1948, Michael E. DeBakey joined the faculty as chair of the Department of Surgery, and the following year, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was established. Baylor's rise in prominence began in the 1950s when DeBakey's surgical techniques garnered international attention. In the 1960s, the college underwent its first major expansion.

In 1969, the college separated from Baylor University and became an independent institution, which allowed it access to federal research funding, changing its name to Baylor College of Medicine. That same year, BCM negotiated with the Texas Legislature to double its class size in order to increase the number of physicians in Texas.[13]

In 2005, Baylor College of Medicine began building a hospital and clinic, to be called the Baylor Clinic and Hospital, slated to open in 2011. In 2009, the college postponed construction for financial reasons, with the outer shell of the hospital completed but the interiors remaining unfinished. In March 2012, BCM decided to convert the building to an outpatient clinic center.[14][15] In 2009, BCM entered into discussions with Rice University regarding a potential merger between the two Houston institutions. After extensive meetings, the boards at both institutions decided that each school would remain independent. In 2010, Baylor University entered into talks with BCM to strengthening ties to each other; however, the merger did not occur. Baylor University Board of Regents appoints 25% of the Baylor College of Medicine’s Board of Trustees.

In January 2014, the BCM and CHI St. Luke's announced they would become joint owners of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, a hospital at the Texas Medical Center (formerly known as St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, then St. Luke's Medical Center after it was purchased by Catholic Health Initiatives in 2013). A partially completed hospital building on the BCM–McNair Campus is slated to open in 2015 and will become BCM's acute-care hospital and main medical teaching facility.

Medical school

Each year the medical school matriculates around 185 students, around 75% of whom are Texas residents. Baylor College of Medicine is the least expensive private medical school in the country.[16]

It is also one of the few medical schools in the United States that is structured with an accelerated 1.5 year preclinical curriculum.[17]

Baylor College of Medicine is also one of only 45 medical institutions in the United States to offer a Medical Scientist Training Program.[18] This federally sponsored and highly competitive program allows exceptionally well qualified students to study for a combined MD and PhD in a medical science to be earned in 7–9 total years. Typically, 8–12 students matriculate into this program per year, and receive free tuition in addition to a stipend of $29,000 per academic year.[19]

Graduate school

The Baylor College of Medicine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences ranks 25th for best Ph.D. program in the biological sciences.[20] Overall, in 2018 BCM ranked 20th in terms of research funding from the National Institutes of Health based on rankings done by the Blue Ridge Institute.[21] Baylor also ranked in the top 20 in eight specialty areas, including number one in the nation for Genetics.

BCM's research faculty includes seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, 14 members of the Institute of Medicine and three members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

About 100 students join the graduate program each year, of which one half were women and one third were graduates from foreign schools.

Many departments of the graduate school collaborate with Rice University and other institutions within the Texas Medical Center. Currently, 615 graduate students are enrolled in one of the thirteen different PhD programs. These programs are:

In the 2019-2020 academic year, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is completing a years-long strategic curriculum transformation. This will result in the previous thirteen PhD programs being reorganized into eight programs, beginning with Fall 2019 admitted students. These new programs will be:

School of Health Professions

Baylor College of Medicine School of Health Profession is focused on educating health professionals to be leaders in the delivery of high-quality patient care; advancing the knowledge of health education, healthcare delivery, and health promotion through research; fostering healthy lifestyles among adults and children through innovative health education programs; and augmenting patient care services provided through Baylor College of Medicine and our affiliated hospitals.

The School's Physician Assistant Program which began in 1971 as a certificate program, was elevated to Bachelor of Science status in 1975, and on to a Master of Science program in 1989. Today, this program ranks 13th among the nation’s physician assistant programs according to U.S. News & World Report.[23]

The 2012 graduates of the Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia Program were the first to earn their doctorate of nursing practice from the Program. Developed from a 1968 a certificate program that was offered by the Harris County Hospital District, now the Harris Health System, in 1983, it became a Master of Science degree program under the auspices of Baylor. This program ranks 5th in the nation among training programs in nurse anesthesia according to U.S. News & World Report.[24]

The Orthotics and Prosthetics Program welcomed its first students in June 2013. It is a 30-month program, where the first 12 months are dedicated to the didactic curriculum, and the following 18 months are spent on clinical rotations and research. It Is the only program in the country to integrate a series of full-time clinical rotations exposing students to six core areas of expertise designed to meet the requirements of the NCOPE-approved residency.

In 2018, the Genetic Counseling Program welcomed its first students. It is a 21-month program consisting of didactic coursework, clinical rotations, and a student thesis. Genetic counseling students rotate through prenatal, pediatric, adult, cancer, and specialty clinics at Baylor College of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals in and around the Texas Medical Center.

National School of Tropical Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine National School of Tropical Medicine is one of the first of its kind in North America devoted to education, healthcare delivery, research and policy related to the neglected diseases that disproportionately afflict "the bottom billion," the world's poorest people who live below the World Bank poverty level.

The School currently offers a Diploma in Tropical Medicine program as well as several non-degree courses and seminars for undergraduates, graduate students and professionals. Plans are in development for masters and doctorate programs.

The School provides clinical services at the Tropical Medicine Clinic at Harris Health System's Smith Clinic, which opened on October 6, 2011. The mission of the Clinic is to prevent, diagnose, and treat common and neglected tropical diseases in the Houston metropolitan population and to improve occupational health for those working in regions where tropical diseases thrive. Baylor Travel Medicine, an affiliate of the National School of Tropical Medicine, opened in May 10, 2012, offers medications, immunizations, counseling, and information customized for each patient’s health needs.

The National School of Tropical Medicine also conducts a comprehensive research and development program for producing a new generation of drugs, diagnostics and vaccines for the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and Neglected Infections of Poverty (NIoPs), as well as fundamental and applied research against these diseases.

Residency training

Baylor College of Medicine sponsors Graduate Medical Education in more than 80 ACGME-accredited, and 40 Texas Medical Board (TMB)-approved training programs.[25]

At Baylor College of Medicine residents and fellows learn from one of the most diverse patient populations anywhere in the country. This is partially due to the diversity found within the city of Houston, which has no single majority ethnic group. The hospitals of the Texas Medical Center and Houston's status as a hub for international industry also draw patients from every corner of the globe. Adding to this diversity are the many and varied settings in which residents and fellows have the opportunity to train, including Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center and Baylor's many affiliated hospitals.[26]

Biomedical research

In 2013, Baylor College of Medicine ranked 19th in terms of research funding from the National Institutes of Health based on rankings done by the Blue Ridge Institute,.[21] Baylor also ranked in the top 20 in eight specialty areas, including number one in the nation for Genetics.

BCM's research faculty includes seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, 14 members of the Institute of Medicine and three members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The College has dedicated more than 800,000 square feet (70,000 m2) of its space for laboratory research. Housed within this research space are a number of centers and facilities, such as:

Hospital joint venture

BCM is a co-owner of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, part of CHI St. Luke's Health. It serves as the primary private adult teaching hospital for the College and ranks among the best hospitals in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, and pulmonology in U.S. News & World Report.

Hospital affiliation

BCM is affiliated with many of the hospitals of the Texas Medical Center and in 2013, began an affiliation with Children's Hospital of San Antonio. BCM's affiliations include:

Cooperating Patient Care Institutions:

Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative

The Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital was established in 1996, and has rapidly become the world's largest university-based program dedicated to global pediatric and family HIV/AIDS care and treatment, health professional training and clinical research. Baylor constructed and opened the world's two largest centers for the care and treatment of HIV-infected children and families, the Romanian-American Children's Center in Constanta, Romania in 2001, and the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Center of Excellence in Gaborone, Botswana in 2003, followed by Uganda, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, and Tanzania, where it has entered into partnership with the Ministries of Health to scale up pediatric HIV/AIDS care and treatment, and build and open new Children's Clinical Centers of Excellence.

BIPAI also has created the Pediatric AIDS Corps, a model program to place up to 250 American pediatricians and infectious disease specialists in its African centers to vastly expand capacity for pediatric HIV/AIDS care and treatment and health professional training. Major funders of BIPAI's activities include NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Abbott Laboratories, and numerous private and corporate foundations.

Notable physicians and researchers

  • Arthur L. Beaudet, M.D. — Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.[27]
  • Hugo J. Bellen — noted developmental biologist; Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
  • Malcolm Brenner, MD, PhD — Former Director, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine[28]
  • William "Bill" R. Brinkley — American cell biologist and early contributor to discovery of mitotic spindle apparatus
  • F. Charles Brunicardi, MD — former Chair, DeBakey Department of Surgery. Editor-in-Chief of Schwartz's Principles of Surgery
  • Selma Calmesanesthesiologist and co-founder of the Anesthesia History Association[29]
  • C. Thomas Caskey — American internist and prominent medical geneticist and biomedical entrepreneur.
  • Denton Cooley — founder of the Texas Heart Institute and world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon. Carried out the first successful implantation of an artificial heart.
  • Michael E. DeBakey — award-winning cardiovascular surgeon
  • Ralph Feigin — Former President, Baylor College of Medicine; Chief of Pediatrics and President of Texas Children's Hospital; author, Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases[30]
  • O. H. Frazier — Heart surgeon who has performed over 1,000 transplants.[31]
  • Richard A. Gibbs, PhD — pioneering geneticist.
  • Bert W. O'Malley — National Medal of Science winner, member National Academy of Sciences for advances in hormone action and gene expression[32]
  • C. Kent Osborne, MD — Director, Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center.[33]
  • David Poplack, MD — Director, Texas Children's Cancer Center, Professor of Pediatrics.[34]
  • Michael J. Reardon — Internationally known heart surgeon who developed first successful cardiac auto transplantation for cardiac sarcoma.
  • Huda Zoghbi — Member of National Academy of Sciences; Investigator of Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Award-winning neuropsychiatrist; Director of Jan and Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Houston, Texas.

In culture

The male Asian elephant calf born to Shanti at the Houston Zoo on May 4, 2010 was named Baylor in honor of the college and their research on elephant herpesvirus.[35]

Affiliated schools


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