Texas Medical Center
Baylor College of Medicine is a privately endowed school located within the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. Its 800 acres include 13 hospitals, 2 medical schools, 4 nursing schools, schools of dentistry, public health, and pharmacy, an Institute of Religion and Ethics in Medicine, and many ancillary institutions. More than 65,000 people work in what is essentially a medical city with its own restaurants, banks, hotels, and shopping areas. In 2004, there were more than 5.2 million patient visits, with patients coming from all over the world for treatment.
Houston is the largest urban center in the Sunbelt and the fourth largest city in the US. It has the youngest average age of any major city in America and has a highly educated population. It has 35 colleges and universities and a strong support of the arts: Houston is one of only three cities in America with a civic-sponsored opera, ballet, symphony, and theater. The city is renowned for its 'museum district' adjacent to the Medical Center, which includes The Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Menil Collection, the Museum of Natural Science, the IMAX Theater and Planetarium, the Children's Museum, and a unique Museum of Medical Science.
In addition to its premier cultural resources, Houston also supports NASA and other high-tech industries, and a wealth of biomedical research firms.
Houston has also produced many sports heroes and heroines such as Mary Lou Retton, Carl Lewis, and Tara Lipinski, to name a few. The Houston Rockets basketball team, the Houston Comets Women’s NBA team, and the Houston Aeros professional hockey team all play in the downtown Toyota Center. The Houston Astros baseball team is in the National League Central Division and went to the World Series in 2005: they play in the Reliant Stadium in downtown Houston. Professional football returned to Houston in 2002 with the Houston Texans playing in Reliant Stadium, just a mile or two from the Medical Center. We also have a pro soccer team, the Houston Dynamo (the 2006 MLS champions), which plays at Robertson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston.
The Medical Center area is one of the most attractive neighborhoods in the city. It includes Rice University, Rice Village, the Museum District, the Astrodome, and Hermann Park, which is Houston's largest park. Many different neighborhoods surround the Medical Center, each with its own character. The adjacent universities support many bookstores, coffeehouses, restaurants, and performing artists. Families particularly enjoy Houston because of the Children's Museum, the Houston Zoo, the Downtown Aquarium, and the Johnson Space Center near NASA. Galveston Island is about an hour away. With a temperate climate that allows for almost year-round outdoor activity, Houston is truly a livable city.