UT-PACT : A Case Study to Explore Participants’ Impact of a Baccalaureate/MD Program


The University of Texas Partnership in Advancing Clinical Transition (UT-PACT) was an initiative with the goal of facilitating a better integration of undergraduate and professional skills studies in preparation of students for careers as physicians with reduced student indebtedness, timely entrance into the medical workforce, and professional identity formation of being a servant leader. The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (UTSW) were the partnering institutions forming the UT-PACT program. This accelerated program focused on training that leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in just seven years, rather than the traditional eight years. Because both institutions are relatively close to one another, the UT-PACT leadership of both campuses fostered a highly interactive program, introducing clinical skills training at the end of the first year of the program and early professional identity formation throughout the entire program. Students transitioned to the medical school in their fourth year of the program after graduating from UT Dallas with a BA in Biology. Unfortunately, due to high turnover at the UT Systems’ uppermost level and budget cuts, the UT-PACT program admitted its last Cohort in the Fall of 2016. That class graduated from UT Dallas in the Spring of 2019. They began their medical school journey at UT Southwestern debt-free in August of 2019, just as the six cohorts before them. Due to the timing of the cancelation of this program, there is no evidence as of yet that attests to the success of the UT-PACT program. In this study, I utilized an a priori theoretical framework that seeks to determine the effectiveness of the UT-PACT program as described by its participants from two graduating Cohorts. The findings shed light on whether more partnerships are needed to produce doctors at a faster pace, with less debt, and more skills. This study provided a voice to those who have participated in the UT-PACT program as to their perception of whether the program helped advance their career as a physician or not.



UT-PACT. Accelerated programs. Combined programs. Medical education. Medical education reform. Funding medical education.