New UT Austin Medical School Would Bring Jobs

Recently, State Senator Kirk Watson proposed a 10-point plan to boost medical education, research, and treatment in Central Texas with plans for a University of Texas medical school in Austin. He spoke to a luncheon group from the Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA) and outlined his idea.

Senator Watson (D-Austin) envisions a massive investment in Austin to create a medical school, complete with a state-of-the-art training hospital, in collaboration with Seton Healthcare. The University of Texas would provide the medical degree and educational components of the plan. While he recognizes the challenge he is up against, he expressed a strong desire to move this past talk and into action. 

The Austin American-Statesman covered the story and provided a transcript of Senator Watson’s 10-point plan. They also looked into the big question of how to pay for such a project, the answer to which seems to be that we don’t have enough information to make a guess. That probably means a very large ticket price, but the concept would be an unquestioned boost to the area. While neither the Statesman story, nor the Senator directly address jobs, the impact on our employment would be significant. Here is the list of Senator Watson’s goals – we’ve added comments about the types jobs each step could create.

State Senator Kirk Watson’s 10 Goals

1. Build a medical school in Austin with everything from student housing to faculty members who would teach and also treat patients.

[Architects, engineers, construction, trades people, technology, infrastructure, landscaping, and labor to build the school. Administration, customer care, doctors, nurses, additional faculty, staff, and support to keep the school running.]

2. Build a modern teaching hospital to replace University Medical Center Brackenridge.

[Architects, engineers, construction, trades people, technology, infrastructure, landscaping, and labor to build the school. Administration, customer care, doctors, nurses, additional faculty, staff, and support to keep the school running.]

3. Modernize community health clinics whose patients would include those lacking health insurance.

[Planning, construction, and labor to update facilities. Educators, health providers, administrative, and support roles to complete ongoing operations.]

4. Develop a research institute by building on the collaboration between the Seton Healthcare Family and the University of Texas System.

[Scientists, researchers, analysts, technology, patent lawyers, business and marketing, support and administrative positions would be required.]

5. Launch a technology incubator to commercialize scientific discoveries.

[Scientists, programmers, technology, patent lawyers, business and marketing, support and administrative positions necessary.]

6. Start a comprehensive cancer treatment center.

[Architects, engineers, construction, trades people, technology, infrastructure, landscaping, and labor to build a treatment center. Administration, customer care, doctors, nurses, additional faculty, staff, and support to operate the center.]

7. Provide psychiatric care and facilities that include crisis centers, emergency care and services aimed at reducing adolescent suicide.

[Architects, engineers, construction, trades people, technology, infrastructure, landscaping, and labor to build or update crisis centers and emergency care facilities. Administration, customer care, psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, nurses, additional faculty, staff, and support to operate the center.]

8. Improve water lines and other infrastructure in the area around Brackenridge, Waterloo Park and Waller Creek so an area near Interstate 35 may “be planned in a way that allows old barriers to be torn down, and communities that have been wrongly split … to be connected.”

[Engineers, construction, trades people, landscaping, and labor to improve infrastructure.]

9. Strengthen the medical examiner’s office by allowing medical students and doctors to train there.

[Administration, customer care, doctors, nurses, additional faculty, staff, and support for office personnel.]

10. Resolve funding for a medical school, the No. 1. stumbling block to building one.

[Sales, marketing, consultation, administrative, legal staff and lobbyists.]

These are merely the immediate employment impacts of creating a medical research and teaching center in our region. The businesses who support those people would also grow and expand, creating more job opportunities. This includes everyone from real estate agents to bartenders, accountants to parts suppliers. The trickle down impact would be enormous.

To read the full article in the Austin American-Statesman, please click here.

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