Dell Medical School is preparing the next generation of physician leaders to help transform health care in and outside the clinic.
Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin
Claudia Lucchinetti, M.D.
Dell Medical School is helping redesign how people get and stay healthy through innovative medical education, research, and personalized patient care for all.
Since its inception, Dell Medical School has brought in:
in research grants
health-focused research projects
Health Beyond Health Care
True health is about more than visits to the doctor — it’s about the food we eat, the air we breathe, and where we work, shop, and live. Getting healthy starts with care that focuses on both treatment and prevention, both in the clinic and in the context of people’s lives. Dell Medical School and the broader University of Texas at Austin are working to build an integrated academic health system in Austin, utilizing their strengths and leveraging cross-campus partnerships across the Tier 1 research university.
The school recruits and trains physician leaders who are interested in practicing a new type of medicine — one where individuals not only provide compassionate care to patients but are motivated to solve systemic challenges in health. To ensure tomorrow’s medical professionals reflect the communities they serve, Dell Med is working to support better access to medicine for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Women are better represented in Dell Med’s M.D. program than in other U.S. medical schools, and 23% of Dell Med students identify with a race or ethnicity currently underrepresented in medicine (compared to the national average of 18%). Many of them are driven by their own experiences in seeking quality, compassionate health care – and bring both local and global perspectives to their work.
Since opening, Dell Med has attracted 435+ new physicians to Austin which, as of 2022, was roughly 10% of local Austin doctors. The school has also tripled the number of graduate medical training programs, increasing the number of residents by 55%.
Compassionate, Patient-focused Community Care
To create this new type of care, doctors need to be empowered to gather feedback from their patients and those in the community and develop programs and care to address their needs. To adequately care for a community, one must first understand the factors that impact well-being, choices, and access to health care.
Dell Med has fostered partnerships with community clinics and established relationships with Austin and Travis County residents, launching programs to better serve the community’s health needs:
Community Health Workers
Dell Med’s Community Health Workers (CHWs) work alongside community organizations including Lonestar Circle of Care, CommUnity Care Health Centers, and Integral Care. CHWs act as connectors between communities and local health entities by building trusted relationships with residents, encouraging them to seek preventive care, and connecting them with available resources.
Factor Health studies the non-medical factors of health – like where one eats, lives, and exercises. Utilizing this research, the organization works with community partners, health care payers, and investors to focus on what’s affecting overall health versus a focus on health care alone.
The Center for Youth Mental Health
The Center for Youth Mental Health focuses on eliminating barriers to mental health services for “transition-age” youth, those between adolescence and adulthood – an age group often underserved by existing mental health resources. The center offers new treatment models and strengthens community partnerships to give young adults the right care, at the right place and time.
C.D. Doyle Clinic
The C.D. Doyle Clinic is a free clinic located at the Esperanza Community on the southeast side of Austin, primarily serving those experiencing homelessness. The clinic’s “open door” policy allows all patients to receive care for acute needs and ongoing screenings, regardless of their circumstances. The clinic is staffed by Dell Med students, volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners, and pre-health undergraduate volunteers who help patients determine medical options available to them, initiate clinic and social service referrals, and provide information on community resources.
“They’re trying to do something so different from the ground up,” Roba describes Dell Med’s vision, “rethinking every part of health care.” She imagines a health system that better cares for underserved and under-resourced communities, especially refugees. “My community is the Arab community,” Roba shares. “I would love to use my language in my future practice and give back to those who might feel neglected or vulnerable.” Dell Med’s programming provides meaningful opportunities for Roba to combine her medicine-adjacent passions with her developing specialty skills. “I want to find a way to marry them, and Dell Med is the perfect place to do that.”
Building for Austin’s Growth
Dell Med is helping transform Austin into a destination for world-class health care through work with innovative partners like:
- Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas – Ascension Seton’s teaching hospital where Dell Med students, residents and fellows learn and train, and the only Level 1 trauma facility in Central Texas.
- UT Health Austin – the clinical practice of Dell Med where patients can see multiple specialists during the same visit, depending on their specific health needs.
- Dell Children’s Medical Center – the first dedicated freestanding pediatric facility in Central Texas, operated by Ascension Seton and offering children and families care across comprehensive teams of physicians.
By educating the next generation of medical students to address today’s challenges in and outside the clinic, Dell Med is helping to transform health and health care for Austin and ultimately the world beyond.