UTMB - Galveston

OK, Dave…I’ll bite. I’ll be happy to answer questions about my school.
I’m currently a third year at a little off-shore school in the Gulf of Mexico, the University of Texas Medical Branch. We’re the state’s very firstest school, founded back in the day when Galveston was THE place to be in our great state.
Our school has more or less successfully transitioned from a traditional to a traditional-problem based lerning hydrid curriculum for the first two years. We basically do one course at a time on a compressed schedule with a concurrent two year long practice of medicine course (our version of intro to clinical medicine).
I just finished my first off campus rotation at a rural family medicine clinic where I also worked with a fourth year from TCOM, another Texas school. After swapping stories, it became very clear to me that our clinical years are still very much the traditional academic based approach. This has its pros and cons, but I just recently found out it isn’t the same everywhere.
Galveston is a pretty laid back community that really embraces an island lifestyle. If you’re into big city stuff, this probably isn’t the place for you, but if you like a relatively quiet and safe place to live (at least where our house is) that is within reasonably close driving distance from a HUGE city, this may work for you.
Overall, I’m very satisified with the medical education I’m getting here and would have no difficulty recommending it to anyone. I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
Take care,

Hi Jeff-
I live in Houston. I will need to stay in Houston or Galveston. I am interested in the emphasis that UTMB has on infectious/tropical disease, their new lab and the research focus. My general question is…do you see any effect on the curriculum/clinical exposure considering this focus or is it much more transparent. Could a med student get involved with any of the work being done or would it be more available to graduate medical folks, ie residency or fellowships. Pardon my ignorance here. Can you comment on any of this from your coveted inside position.
Thank you!

Howdy Michelle!
Thanks for asking this question. I’d actually meant to bring it up in my previous post but forgot about it.
Yes, I think it will make a huge impact for those who are interested. As a student here, you have incredible access to most of the research being done here, including our research into nasty bugs and biodefense. The only limiting factor would be competition from other students wanting to do the same. There are specific medical student research jobs.
We also benefit from the scientists working in those programs teaching us during the first two years. Dr. Peters (of Outbreak fame) gave us several bioterrorism lectures, plus we’ve had a couple of other folks come as well. Many of our students do research during the two month break between first and second year. You can also do it during your third year elective, during any of your many fourth year electives or during your required fourth year research thingee elective.
I’d love to tell you more about it, but since ID and nasty critters isn’t one of my big interests, I haven’t really been following it as closely as I probably should have. I do know they’ve just finished a big ‘bad bug’ chamber building and will be starting another soon.
Here are some links for you, though: Biodefense home page,
Some interesting press releases on the subject:
Press Release 1
Press release 2
One other thing, we had a class meeting the other day for rising fourth years about residency applications. One of the pathologists spoke to us about how competitive path was. He said that UTMB two years received applications from 3 US grads. Last year, presumably on the basis of the increased access to these labs, he received 45.
Take care and good luck,


Thank you. That is precisely the type of info I was looking for. Sounds as if interest is being stirred up. Good for UTMB, probably.

I will check out the links, thanks.

Thanks again. Take care and good luck, as well.