It's Academic

August 2015 

Texas to Expand Family Physician Training Capacity, Increase Recruitment

Texas will soon be better positioned to recruit additional family physicians, with recent and planned expansions for training in this specialty. The increase will help address continuing demand for family physicians, which remains the most-recruited specialty for nine consecutive years, as reported by Merritt Hawkins, a national physician recruitment firm based in Irving. 

A new family medicine residency program opened this year with six residents at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, a 530-bed physician-owned health system in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, in partnership with The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. This partnership will transition to The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Medical School when it receives initial accreditation, anticipated for 2016. 

The new family medicine program is one of four residency programs opened by the hospital this year. The Edinburg program marks the latest addition to the state’s 29 allopathic family medicine residency programs — the largest number of residency programs for any specialty in the state, by far. The programs have wide distribution, as shown in the map below. Texas is also home to the largest family medicine residency program in the country — with a total of 73 residents — at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. 

Allopathic Family Medicine Residence Programs in Texas, 2015

 Aug 2015 It's Academic:Texas Map

Map provided by Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Counties marked in yellow are primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas, as designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Note: The University of Arkansas Southwest Family Medicine Residency Program is located in Texarkana, Ark. However, residents also rotate through Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana, Texas. This program is not included in the Match statistics for Texas referenced in this article.  

Overall, Texas now trains a total of 711 allopathic residents a year in family medicine. And even more are expected, with a new family medicine residency program opening next year at DeTar Healthcare System in Victoria, in south Texas, in partnership with Texas A&M Health Science Center. The program will start with six residents and add six more per year for a total of 18. The newly constructed family medicine clinic is expected to be completed in early 2016.

Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and DeTar Healthcare System received state graduate medical education hospital planning grants from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in 2014. This program, established by the Texas Legislature in 2013, provides one-time grants of $150,000 to encourage non-teaching hospitals to evaluate the feasibility of adding graduate medical education to their missions. THECB issued nine grants, resulting in new residency programs at five hospitals. 

There are six osteopathic family medicine residency programs in Texas. Three of these are dually accredited for allopathic and osteopathic residency training: Methodist Charlton Hospital in Dallas, Conroe Regional Medical Center, and Plaza Medical Center in Fort Worth. Osteopathic residents who complete these programs have the option of pursuing board certification by either or both the American Board of Medical Specialties or American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The three remaining programs offered a total of 11 osteopathic residency positions in the 2015 AOA Match. They are Bay Area Corpus Christi Medical Center, Texoma Medical Center in Denison, and the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

Family Medicine Residency Program Fill Rates
The 28 Texas allopathic family medicine residency programs that participated in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) in 2015 filled 225 positions through the Match, unchanged from the year before. A total of 228 positions were offered through the Match for this specialty for a fill rate of 98.7 percent. The remaining three positions did not fill on Match Day but are expected to have filled in the post-Match process. 

In the past decade, the number of filled positions in the NRMP Match increased by a net of 34 positions, or 17.8 percent, from 191 in 2006 to 225 in 2014 and in 2015. The 225 matched positions in 2014 and 2015 represented the peak for the past decade and were equivalent to the previous peak, reached in 1997. 

Aug 2015 It's Academic: Entry

 Of those who matched to allopathic family medicine residency programs in Texas in 2015, the NRMP reported 45.7 percent were U.S. allopathic medical school seniors. For the past six years, the percentage of family medicine year-one positions filled by U.S. allopathic medical school seniors remained fairly steady. These percentages are comparable to national match rates. 

Aug 2015 It's Academic: Percentage 


 Of the family medicine positions offered in the 2015 NRMP Match for Texas, 30 percent were filled by international medical graduates (IMGs). Graduates of osteopathic medical schools filled 17 percent, and allopathic physicians (prior graduates of U.S. allopathic medical schools) filled 7 percent. Internal medicine saw about the same percentage of IMGs who matched to their programs through the NRMP this year, with 29 percent of those positions in Texas filled by IMGs. There was a greater tendency for U.S.-citizen IMGs to match to family medicine (71 percent of IMGs matching to family medicine were U.S. citizens) than internal medicine (33 percent). Internal medicine had a much higher rate — 67 percent — of foreign-born IMGs.
The Family Practice Residency Program at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board received $16.78 million for the 2016-17 state biennium, beginning Sept. 1, for distribution to the state’s family medicine residency programs. This is an increase of $4 million, or 31 percent, over the prior biennium. The board estimates 730 residents will be supported through the program at $11,171 per resident, per year. This state program has been providing support to family medicine residency programs since 1979. 
The Texas Legislature also provided $3 million for the 2016-17 biennium to restore the Statewide Primary Care Preceptorship Program. This includes renewed support for the family medicine preceptorship program. This program demonstrated success in the past in promoting careers in family medicine among medical students and was strongly supported by the Texas Academy of Family Physicians and TMA.  

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TCU, UNT Health Science Center Plan to Create New Medical School

Texas Christian University (TCU) and the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) in Fort Worth have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create a new allopathic medical school in Fort Worth. The school, planning to accept its first class in 2018, will provide a team-oriented educational approach that benefits patients and helps to shape the future practice and business of medicine. 

The MOU calls for an initial class of 60 students, with plans for a full enrollment of 240.

“A new MD school will give Texas more high-quality practitioners in an era of dramatic physician shortages,” said UNTHSC President Michael R. Williams, DO, MD. “Our students will become physicians who focus on their patients and learn to deliver care as part of larger health care teams.” 

The MD school expects to increase educational and research opportunities at the two institutions, while preparing the next generation of physicians to meet health care needs in Texas and beyond. Using existing educational, research, and training facilities, along with faculty at TCU and UNTHSC, allows start-up costs to be minimized and privately funded. 

Donors in Fort Worth, the largest city in Texas without an allopathic medical school, have pledged significant financial support to address initial start-up costs. In addition, the institutions will focus on effectively maximizing existing resources. 

UNTHSC currently has an osteopathic medical school, along with graduate schools for pharmacists, physician assistants, physical therapists, public health experts, and biomedical scientists. 

Additional points of interest in the MOU are these:  

  • Students in the allopathic medical school will be enrolled in both institutions.
  • A dean named jointly by TCU and UNTHSC will report to provosts at both campuses.
  • TCU and UNTHSC faculty will teach in the program.
  • The allopathic medical school plans to begin accepting applications in the fall of 2017.  

Moving forward, a medical school management committee including representatives from both universities, along with the new dean and provosts from both institutions, will oversee plans for the new school. 

Six New Medical Schools on Tap in Texas
With the addition of the TCU/UNTHSC medical school, projected to open in 2018, Texas may have as many as six new medical schools by 2020, as follows: 

Allopathic: The University of Texas at Austin-Dell Medical School and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Medical School 

Osteopathic: University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio 

Allopathic: Texas Christian University/University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth 

Osteopathic: Sam Houston State University in Conroe

2020 (under evaluation)
University of Houston 

From 2014 to 2022, the projected net increase in medical school graduates for Texas is about 600 (not including a potential medical school at University of Houston), an increase of 37 percent, as shown in the graph below.  

Aug 2015 It's Academic: Graduates


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2015 Application Cycle for TMA Award for Academic Excellence Begins Sept. 1

TMA knows the difference a good educator makes in the life of a physician. The association is asking for your help in recognizing physicians who excel in teaching. Consider applying for TMA’s award program or nominating a leader or colleague.  

The program is scaled across four levels to provide recognition throughout your career, starting with the Bronze level and culminating with the Platinum level. The Platinum Award winner is selected each year from the Gold recipients and receives a $5,000 cash award. The TMA Foundation generously provides award monies. 

On TMA’s website, you will find everything you need, from a description of the eligibility criteria for each award level, to the forms you can use to apply or nominate a qualified leader or colleague.  

Help us recognize physicians who make a difference in the lives of other physicians and who prepare our next generation of doctors.  

Important deadlines: If you are applying yourself, the 2015 application cycle runs from Sept. 1 through Dec. 7, 2015. If you are nominating someone else, TMA accepts nominations year-round, but nominees are bound by the annual application cycle deadlines.  

If you have questions, call the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955, from 8:15 am to 5:15 pm CT, and ask for the Medical Education Department, or send an email to  

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Texas A&M Health Science Center to Introduce New Curriculum in 2019

The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine plans to introduce a new curriculum with the incoming class of 2019, as reported in the science center’s Medicine Insider. According to the article, “The new curriculum will further integrate basic science content more closely with clinical context, provide clinical exposure earlier in the pre-clerkship experience, and reinforce basic science content in clinical rotations.” And “the new curriculum will shorten the basic science content to 18 months (this component was previously two years with breaks) in order to move students into the clinical setting earlier in their educational career.” Read the article for more information.  

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Update Your TMA Online Profile So Referring Colleagues Can Find You

When prospective patients and referring colleagues visit TMA’s online Find a Physician directory (the most frequently visited page on the TMA website) or the DocbookMD mobile app — will they be able to find you?

“Take a few moments to check the data in your online membership profile and make any corrections needed,” said Steven L. Cole, DO, chair of the TMA Committee on Membership. “Be sure to confirm your contact information under the Address tab.

“While you’re at it, click on the Interests tab to tell us exactly which professional topics you need to know the most about,” Dr. Cole continued. “Thanks in advance for helping us keep our membership lists accurate and for helping us use your membership dollars for purposes more worthwhile than shuffling paper.”

Questions? Contact the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955, Monday-Friday, 8:15 am-5:15 pm CT, or email

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Reading List Helps Medical Educators Improve Skills

The American Medical Association has published a list of 10 must-read articles for medical educators, curated by Journal of Graduate Medical Education Editor-in-Chief Gail M. Sullivan, MD. She organizes the list into these topics:  

  • Multimedia and online instruction,
  • Learning styles and theories,
  • Mentoring,
  • Teaching, and
  • Writing 

You also can read Dr. Sullivan’s Resources for Clinicians Becoming Clinician Educators.  

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This Month in Texas Medicine

The August issue of Texas Medicine features a cover story on TMA’s 2015 legislative victories. In the issue you’ll also find information on public health gains this legislative session, a Texas Supreme Court decision that gives doctors greater protection against sham peer review, and enhancements to Medicaid’s electronic enrollment portal. Check out our digital edition.

You can subscribe to RSS feeds for TMA Practice E-Tips, TMA news releases, Blogged Arteries, and Texas Medicine. More

It's Academic is for physicians in academic settings. For more information about TMA’s efforts on behalf of medical education and academic physicians, visit the TMA Council on Medical Education’s Subcommittee for Academic Physicians page and Advocacy page on the TMA website.

Please share with your colleagues who are not TMA members and ask them to join.

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    The State legislature is unable to support the existing medical schools adequately. Another institution, no matter where it is located, would put more unnecessary strain on already stretched finances. Find the money to treat the ones you have better before straining draining resources.
    William E. Powell, M.D.

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