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History of the School

For over a century, the University of Texas Medical Branch has dedicated its efforts toward improving the health of society-in Texas and beyond. Since 1968, the School of Health Professions has helped carry on this tradition, granting degrees and certificates to more than 10,500 graduates in several health professions. Today the SHP offers baccalaureate degrees in Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Respiratory Care, master's degrees in Occupational Therapy, Nutrition & Metabolism and Physician Assistant Studies, and the professional doctorate in Physical Therapy. In addition to designing and implementing innovative ways to deliver instruction to students at distant locations, the school continuously explores opportunities to expand its program offerings and interprofessional learning.

The UTMB School of Health Professions (SHP) was the first allied health school in the Southwest U.S. when it opened its doors in 1968. It established the first clinical residency in Texas (one of only 7 nationwide) in neurologic Physical Therapy in collaboration with Memorial-Hermann TIRR and Texas Woman's University. In response to the serious shortages of health professionals, the school is embarking on an ambitious expansion in enrollment and developing innovative new programs. The SHP continues to provide outstanding opportunities in community outreach, global health, and interprofessional learning for students. In partnership with the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the SHP has created a doctoral curriculum in rehabilitation sciences, the first of its kind in Texas and among just a handful in North America.

The teaching environment of the school supports its educational purpose. The UTMB medical complex serves as one autonomous learning laboratory for all students. UTMB's six hospitals and 59 outpatient clinics, emergency room, and research laboratories are an integral part of allied health education. The four-story School of Health Professions/School of Nursing Building, which opened its doors in 1986, houses state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, multipurpose auditoria, a Learning Resource Center, student lounge, and faculty and administrative offices.

SHP students take advantage of the Moody Medical Library, one of the largest and most modern medical libraries in the Southwest. The Truman G. Blocker, Jr. History of Medicine Collection, for example, features thousands of rare medical books, prints, historic microscopes and medical instruments, and other medical memorabilia.