Through individualized experiences in the third year — the hallmark of a curriculum created from scratch to turn future physicians into leaders — students make progress toward long-term goals and collaborate to improve health locally. A nine-month “Innovation, Leadership and Discovery” block affords the opportunity to complete a large, independent Distinction in Discovery and Inquiry project or dual degree. Students also continue clinical practice in primary care, family and community medicine with the option for other electives.
Audrey Han, a member of the Class of 2020, is spending her Growth Year earning a master’s degree in education, with a focus on educational psychology. She takes courses alongside other master’s students, many of whom are approaching the degree from traditional backgrounds in education or psychology.
The curriculum team continues to add distinction and dual degree offerings to the following opportunities, available now.
Students work with faculty to design and implement a project from multiple options spanning the spectrum of research at The University of Texas at Austin or our clinical partners. Working in a rigorous scholarly environment with a faculty mentor, they develop skills for investigation and learn how to communicate findings.
Led by the Design Institute for Health, aspiring physicians become immersed in the human-centered design process and skillset. They transform into practitioners who can deploy the design process and related skills to impact the health needs of people in Austin and beyond. Students can choose to develop skills in visual design, communications, interaction design, business and other areas, leveraging those skills within a team to aid community-sponsored health projects.
Dell Med students collaborate with a community-based organization on a project that will transform health by addressing social determinants of health like income disparities, institutional racism, housing instability and more. They refine leadership and partnership skills through leading an intervention or system change that benefits people in Central Texas.
Future physicians take a deep dive into entrepreneurship and learn how to move a health innovation idea from concept to reality. As a member of the school’s Texas Health CoLab team, students gain experience in business and commercialization while working with a variety of startups and products.
Dual Degree Options
While earning a Master of Arts in Design (Design in Health concentration), students gain the core skills needed for the application of human-centered design as a force for innovation in the health care industry. The program grounds design education in real-world challenges by immersing students in the community for project work.
An advanced understanding of business administration equips practitioners to better lead health transformation and adoption of value-based care.
A degree in educational psychology gives physicians insight and practical knowledge in human cognition, behavior, public health education and more — enhancing work to provide care and communicate effectively.
A population health perspective helps physicians improve care models while engaging other sectors of the system that affect social determinants of health. Areas of study include epidemiology, environmental health, management, policy and community health, biostatistics, health promotion and behavioral sciences.
For students seeking to practice medicine and conduct biomedical research, this degree imparts the quantitative analytical skills of an engineer.
Students learn how to lead change and create high-value services focused on health outcomes that matter to individuals and families. The interdisciplinary curriculum equips students to innovate, test frameworks, immediately apply concepts, and share results with health care leaders and faculty. Topics include creating value, designing solutions, measuring outcomes, finance and payment, population health, leadership and strategy. An experiential project provides an opportunity to apply learning to real-world situations.