By Dr. Marvin Forland
Fifty years ago, the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine enrolled its initial classes of students. “The entire program got underway at that time,” said Marvin Forland, M.D., MACP, a founding faculty member. “Small groups of students had been assigned for third- and fourth-year clinical experiences in the previous couple of years, but the real beginning of the School of Medicine and the opening of the teaching facility [University Hospital] was in September 1968.”
Dr. Forland authored the following essay about the early experiences:
“It was my privilege to be among the hearty band of 87 founding faculty who greeted our first three classes of medical students at this new medical branch of The University of Texas in September of 1968. Mostly relatively young for our degree of responsibility, we were quickly immersed in the preparation and delivery of curricula for medical student years one through three, the staffing of a brand-new adjacent county hospital due to open in four months, and the manning of the aged but burgeoning Robert B. Green clinics and emergency room. And then there were the gleaming new laboratories waiting to be transformed into sites of scientific inquiry.
“Somehow we, and those who followed, managed to accomplish it as we welcomed waves of new faculty, built liaisons with community physicians, developed increasing support for our county hospital, and added a veterans facility. Able investigators secured federal and regional support, and the county and state, and local and national philanthropy, responded to our needs to facilitate health care education, delivery and research, leading to the superb facilities for diverse disciplines related to health care that now surround us. With these developments we have educated more than 8,000 physicians, contributed life-extending medical practices employed throughout the world, made quality health care available throughout our region, and altered the economic base of San Antonio.
“The path ahead will clearly hold new challenges, with rewards equal to those we founders have been blessed to witness.”
Initially chief of the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Medicine, Dr. Marvin Forland went on to serve as associate dean for clinical affairs for the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine until his retirement in 1999. He continues to serve in the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at UT Health San Antonio.