Students await future of Dell Medical

Carlynn Hickenbotham

Nursing sophomore Celeste Hinojosa sat next to her fellow students as her professor told the class that in less than fives years, the Dell Medical School would be connected to the school of nursing. 

At the rate new institutions are being built on campus, Hinojosa was not surprised by this news and could not wait to see the collaboration between the two schools. 

“I think it would be an awesome experience to help Dell collaborate with nurses, not just doctors,” Hinojosa said.

Within six months of welcoming its inaugural class, Dell Medical received a donation of more than $20 million from the Wong family to create the Mitchel and Shannon Wong Eye Institute, a center meant to train students in the study of ophthalmology. 

Shannon Wong, an ophthalmologist at Austin Eye, said this expansion of Dell Medical not only affects the future of its own medical students, but the entire health district of Austin. 

“I believe that the model for education and patient care for Dell Medical School will involve a multidisciplinary approach,” Wong said. “For eye care, you’ll have different medical specialties involved; you’ll have nurses, optometrists, ophthalmologists and support staff like administration for ophthalmology, all working together to deliver great care in the most cost effective manner.” 

However, some nursing students believed part of the donation could have been allocated to renovate the nursing buildings. 

Nursing sophomore Praise Chineyemba said it would be nice if the nursing building eventually got improved along with the renovations that Dell Medical was undergoing. 

“The nursing school does need a lot [of expanding],” Chineyemba said. “Sometimes we have to wait in line for an hour to do the same lab.”

Dell Medical plans to not only have a strong foothold in medicine, but in all aspects of health care in the future, according to a statement made by Dell Medical. 

“Our primary motivation for giving was to give back to the community, and to help train future doctors and future ophthalmologists, and the last objective was to set an example for others,” Wong said.

Hinojosa said her professor informed her of a Dell Medical program that nurses will be able to take in order to utilize the tools of their neighboring school. 

“I think it’s a great resource for us since it is so close to campus,” Hinojosa said. “I think it would definitely help us build our skills.”