• 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) 

    Read More

  • The 2013 Medical Education Consensus Statement

    Texas medical schools, teaching hospitals, and the 48,000-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

    • Bill Aims to Attract Mental Health Professionals
      It's no surprise Texas is lacking in mental health professionals. A statewide survey sheds light on just how dire the situation is: 185 of Texas' 254 counties are without a psychiatrist. Overall, the state is home to just 4.1 psychiatrists per 1,000 patients, only slightly better than Nevada, Mississippi, and Idaho, nationally. Legislative efforts are in the works to try to attract more psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to underserved Texas communities.
    • Room to Grow
      Graduate medical education (GME) expansion is the top priority for medicine this legislative session, and thanks to years of advocacy coming to fruition, the issue is top of mind for lawmakers, too. As this story went to press, more GME money made its way into budget proposals, and a handful of bills build on the momentum started last session to grow the physician workforce in Texas with the creation of additional GME grant and physician education loan repayment programs.
    • Seeing the Light
      TMA's Committee on Physician Distribution and Health Care Access raised concerns that medical schools and residency programs may become overly restrictive of the practice of moonlighting since the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education recently required moonlighting to count toward a resident's total work-hour cap of 80 hours per week. In response, TMA's Council on Medical Education adopted a policy put forth by the physician distribution committee that encourages medical schools and residency programs in Texas to reconsider broad limitations or even prohibitions on resident moonlighting. The policy goes before the TMA House of Delegates at its annual meeting in May. 
    • Tax Relief, Medicaid Primary Care Pay Bump in Sight; Scope in Crosshairs
      As hearings get under way and lawmakers scramble to fashion a budget at the halfway mark of the 2015 legislative session, graduate medical education funding and tax relief remain a focal point for the legislature, and the House of Medicine has made early progress on both fronts. Lawmakers also heard TMA's call to reinstate the Medicaid-Medicare parity payments for primary care.
    • Improve Funding for GME
      We continue to have a serious physician shortage. Those shortages touch the majority of specialties and they impede access to care. The new expansion grant programs authorized by the last legislature are a big step toward expanding our GME capacity and we are grateful for the legislative commitment toward building our physician workforce. Having the additional $14.25 million is good for the state.  The $65,000 per-resident amount authorized for these programs is significant.  These programs also acknowledge the partnership between medical schools and teaching hospitals in training a resident.
    • Curtis Mirkes, DO Explains Why GME Funding is Critical
      We continue to have a serious physician shortage. As you know, those shortages touch the majority of specialties and they impede access to care. The new expansion grant programs authorized by the last legislature are a big step toward expanding our GME capacity and we are grateful for the commitment you and our other legislative members made toward building our physician workforce. Having the additional $14.25 million is good for the state and these programs have several important distinctions. The $65,000 per-resident amount authorized for these programs is significant. These programs also acknowledge the partnership between medical schools and teaching hospitals in training a resident.
    • 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. 
  • TMA Advocacy and Communications