We’re a Team

UTHSC campus

The UT Health Science Center is based in Memphis and located in the heart of the medical district near downtown. The arches are one of the campus’s architectural landmarks.

Day 2: UT Health Science Center

Established in 1911; College of Dentistry established in 1878

Colleges: Health Professions, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy

Affiliations: 15 teaching hospitals and clinical facilities across the state

Students: 2,832

Employees: 2,364

Alumni in Tennessee: 17,980

Website: www.uthsc.edu

Did you know? About 40 percent of physicians, 40 percent of pharmacists and more than 75 percent of dentists in the state got their training at UTHSC, which is based in Memphis but has more than 100 clinical and educational sites across the state.

Collaboration is a concept heard more and more in health circles. At UTHSC, it is not just being talked about; it is a common practice for students and faculty from different colleges and professional areas to work together. The Center for Cancer Research, which has a new building on campus, is a good example. Lawrence Pfeffer, director of the center, explained how researchers from different disciplines work in nearby labs and share common space like break rooms, which leads to more team science and discovery. Someone in dentistry who was growing neural stem cells showed Pfeffer how to use the same procedure to grow brain cells. “This is not a silo enterprise. Everyone works together,” Pfeffer says. “The thing we have in common is cancer research.”

Hurby Franks
Hurby Franks, manager of the dental simulation lab, marks his 37th year in July working at UTHSC. He has worked in this lab since the building opened in 1977.

Video: Dr. Lawrence Pfeffer explains the collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to medical research at UTHSC.

Crystal Walker (HSC ’11) recalled that while getting her master’s in nursing she was on a team of students from different colleges assigned to create a program for teenagers to address a health issue. “Interdisciplinary teamwork makes UT different,” she says. This teamwork lays the groundwork for real professional experiences in caring for a patient. “There can be communication barriers if you haven’t worked together before,” she says. In January 2014, UTHSC enrolled its first 26 students in the physician assistant studies program, another area at UTHSC collaborating with another college. Clinical coordinator Matthew Allman explains PA students benefit from instruction within the College of Medicine. “The professions work hand in hand and train side by side,” he says.

Aaron Harris and Haley Lawson
Aaron Harris of Knoxville and Haley Lawson of Columbia, Tenn., are students in the physician assistant studies program.
Dr. Lawrence Pfeffer
Dr. Lawrence Pfeffer, director of the Center for Cancer Research, says more funding will help research efforts.
College of Medicine students
College of Medicine students Henry Dodd, Amanda Miller and Dilan Patel talk about their experiences at UTHSC and living in Memphis. “The faculty and deans are easy to work with,” says Patel.

Photos by Lisa Buser

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