Ibn Sina Foundation to Explore Founding of an Osteopathic Hospital

HOUSTON: The shortage of minority physicians nationally can be attributed to several complex factors. One key reason is the limited access to quality education and resources for underrepresented minority communities.

Many individuals from these communities face socioeconomic challenges that hinder their ability to pursue higher education, including medical school. Additionally, there is a lack of adequate representation and mentorship for aspiring minority physicians, which can discourage them from pursuing medical careers. Bias and discrimination within the healthcare system and medical education also contribute to disparities in opportunities and support for minority students.

Addressing these systemic barriers and promoting diversity and inclusion in medical education, providing the opportunity to educate underrepresented physicians, and creating and providing training programs are essential steps toward increasing the number of minority physicians and ensuring equitable healthcare for all. The presence of underrepresented physicians in medical schools and healthcare leadership roles inspires and encourages aspiring students from similar backgrounds. Their presence breaks down barriers, challenges stereotypes, and sends a powerful message that anyone can pursue a medical career regardless of their background. By diversifying the physician workforce, we improve healthcare delivery and provide role models who can inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals.

On May 17, 2023, the Chairman of the Ibn Sina Foundation, Mr. Nasruddin Rupani, announced the exploration of an Osteopathic Medical School in Greater Houston serving underserved populations. He made this announcement at a local hotel in the presence of various elected officials, academia, professionals, and many community leaders.

For over 20 years, the Ibn Sina Foundation clinics have provided more than 1.5 million patient visits, making it the second-largest provider of care to the disadvantaged in Houston.

Mr. Rupani, in his opening remarks, said that today marks a monumental occasion as we begin the formal feasibility study for a groundbreaking institution—the proposed Ibn Sina College of Osteopathic Medicine, a beacon of hope, knowledge, and compassion. “With immense pride and joy, we celebrate the exploration of an osteopathic medical school that will prepare physicians to serve the underserved populations in Greater Houston, Texas,” said Rupani. “Given our service and commitment, we must now explore the opportunities to develop a medical school to train healthcare professionals to expand the Ibn Sina Foundation’s clinics,” said Rupani.

To witness the announcement, Senator John Whitmire, State Representative Jacey Jetton, Commissioner Dexter L. McCoy, representatives of Dr. Suleman Lalani, Salman Bhojani, and Jane Wu, and other community, educational, and healthcare leaders were present. State representatives, elected officials, and community leaders welcomed the idea and showed their commitment and support to the noble cause initiated by the Ibn Sina Foundation.

The Foundation hired the national consulting firm Tripp Umbach to complete a feasibility study expected to be completed by September. The proposed medical school will begin the formal accreditation process with the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation and hire a founding dean in the fall of 2023, with plans to open the new medical school in the summer of 2027.