• Workforce

    • Ensure an Adequate Workforce

      Texas has a large, growing population that is growing sicker and needs more and better-coordinated health care services. Unfortunately, Texas — even more than most of the rest of the country — needs more physicians and other health care professionals. Although our 2003 liability reforms have brought an influx of new physicians, the current supply won’t be able to keep up with the demand, especially with expanded insurance coverage from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). We need more physicians and other health care professionals working in all parts of the state, especially in rural and border Texas.
  • Bright Ideas: Revamping Medical Education

    Schools implemented incremental changes over the past decade or so as reports from organizations like the Institute of Medicine, the Carnegie Foundation, and AAMC called for medical education reforms. But the recent and more rapid changes in health care delivery demand a wholesale shift, says Vice Speaker of the AMA House of Delegates and former TMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD, of Fort Worth. 

    That's the idea behind the AMA's Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative, which seeks to facilitate "innovative structural change that prompts a significant redesign of undergraduate medical education that can be duplicated across the country." Still, while medical educators tend to agree with the need for change in medical education, they acknowledge it won't happen overnight. (Texas Medicine, December 2013) 

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  • The 2013 Medical Education Consensus Statement

    Texas medical schools, teaching hospitals, and the 47,000-plus members of the Texas Medical Association agree:

    • Texas has a shortage of physicians.
    • The shortage will get worse.
    • Texans — whether in rural or urban areas — will be adversely affected, in varying degrees, by the shortage.
    • Having insurance coverage will not necessarily ensure access to a physician.
    • The future health of Texans is dependent on our ability to educate and train more physicians NOW. 

    Read or download the full consensus statement.

  • Articles

    • GME Expansion a Top Priority for Texas Specialty Societies
      Winning greater investment in graduate medical education (GME) programs is a 2015 legislative priority for most of the Texas Family of Medicine.
    • GME Gamble
      A new Institute of Medicine report that recommends sweeping changes to graduate medical education (GME) has challenged organized medicine's calls for increased Medicare GME funding to address looming physician shortages, setting off a firestorm of debate over the future of the U.S. physician workforce. The Texas Medical Association is evaluating the potential impact of the recommendations, which call for a variety of changes in how existing funds are allocated and leave a number of unknowns for Texas institutions. 
    • Match-makers
      Despite the success of this year's Resident Match Day, medical school deans in Texas and across the country remain concerned about a growing number of students who have difficulty matching to a residency training program. They say those numbers could add up to missed opportunities in the form of physicians and medical education dollars that do not immediately end up in a workforce hurting for doctors of every discipline. Medical education leaders also point to an increasingly competitive match climate as part of the problem, as they search for ways to better counsel students to maximize their opportunities early and often throughout their medical education.
    • Feeding the Physician Pipeline
      After the 2013 Texas Legislature answered the Texas Medical Association's call for more funding for graduate medical education, TMA wasted no time making sure the money gets put into action. In late August, the medical association joined the Texas Hospital Association and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to host a forum to help nonteaching hospitals, medical schools, and other entities take advantage of the nearly $2 million in planning grants that lawmakers authorized for new, first-year medical residency positions.
    • St. David's Helps Repay Loans
      Physicians in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell counties can apply for help paying off their medical school loans through the new St. David's Foundation Central Texas Loan Repayment Program. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board says the program is designed to recruit and retain qualified physicians, dentists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners at eligible safety net sites located in those four counties.
    • ACGME Launches Outcomes-Based GME Accreditation
      Texas medical educators say the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's (ACGME's) residency program accreditation process was extremely prescriptive and stifled innovation in graduate medical education. But in February, ACGME announced a new accreditation process that it says will ease that burden from the process it had developed over the past few decades. The trade-off, however, is the new system will make residency programs and their residents demonstrate that residents have the necessary skills to be outstanding physicians.
    • Caribbean Showdown
      Indisputably, Texas needs to train more physicians. The state's population is growing rapidly, and many areas face significant physician shortages. But a Caribbean medical school's proposal to bring its third- and fourth-year students to Texas for clinical training is drawing fire from the state's medical schools, some influential state lawmakers, and the Texas Medical Association.
    • Hospitals Pushing Physician Employment
      Hospitals and hospital systems are seeking to integrate their operations with physician practices to meet the growing demand for accountability, quality improvement, and cost control in health care. The American Hospital Association says physician employment by hospitals nationwide grew by more than 32 percent over the past decade. Texas Medical Association officials say increasing physician employment by hospitals raises serious concerns about employed physicians' ability to maintain their clinical autonomy, exercise independent medical judgment, and protect the patient-physician relationship.
  • TMA Advocacy and Communications