TMA Young Physicians Memo

Spring 2015 

Come to the YPS Business Meeting May 1

Join us for the upcoming Young Physician Section Business meeting in Austin on Friday, May 1, from noon to 1:30 pm. This meeting will be held in Room 412 on the fourth floor of the Hilton Austin, in conjunction with TexMed 2015.

Elections will be held for the 2015-16 YPS Executive Council. Serving as a member of the Executive Council is an easy way to get involved, gain leadership experience within TMA, and make some great contacts. Details are on the YPS webpage.

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Free CME and Free to Attend — That’s TexMed

From practice management to quality and patient safety, TexMed 2015 May 1-2 in Austin is packed with a variety of continuing medical education (CME) tracks — some 80 hours in all. 

Looking for a little something different? Get CME for your morning workout at 6:30 on Friday, May 1, with the Let’s Get Active exercise session, and view the latest in quality improvement initiatives at the third annual TexMed Poster Session, which begins with an author-hosted walk-through on Saturday, May 2, 8-9 am. Categories have been expanded this year to offer physicians and medical practice staff more opportunities to participate.  

TexMed 2015 will feature two general sessions, each with its own stimulating speaker. Friday’s Opening General Session keynote speaker, Ira Byock, MD, will address palliative care and dying in America. Dr. Byock, author of The Best Possible Care and one of the foremost palliative care physicians in the country, argues that to ensure the best of end-of-life care possible, we must not only remake our health care system but also move past our cultural aversion to talking about dying.  

On Saturday, Patricia A. Shands, MD, will share her unique journey in health care during TexMed’s Closing General Session. An orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Shands lives in Anchorage, Ala., working for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. Her motivational recount of her work with Native/Inuit tribes at the hospital as well their remote villages will end the conference on an inspiring note. 

For a full schedule of events, CME, exhibitors, lodging information, fun things to do in and around Austin, and how to get more involved in TMA policy creation, visit the TexMed website. Be sure to register today for this free benefit of your TMA membership.  

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Apply for the TMA Leadership College by July 1  

TMA is now accepting applications for the TMA Leadership College Class of 2016. The deadline to apply is July 1. 

The TMA Leadership College, established in 2010 as part of TMA’s effort to ensure strong and sustainable physician leadership within organized medicine, is geared toward active TMA members younger than 40 or who are in the first eight years of practice. 

Graduates serve as thought leaders who can close the divide between clinicians and health care policymakers, and serve as trusted leaders within their local communities. Many also receive priority consideration for appointment to TMA councils and committees. 

Visit the TMA Leadership College webpage for full program details, a class schedule, and application.  

For more information, contact Christina Shepherd by email or by calling (800) 880-1300, ext. 1443, or (512) 370-1443. 

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Save the Date for First Tuesdays  

First Tuesdays at the Capitol returns May 5, and the Family of Medicine needs you to be there. It’s your last chance to be lobbyist for a day during the 2015 legislative session.

The “White Coat Invasion” has been the key to physicians’ successes in the Texas Legislature since the inception of First Tuesdays at the Capitol in 2003. Our senators and representatives listen when their hometown doctors appear in their offices. Our influence is so much greater when physicians and alliance members arrive en masse in the House and Senate galleries. It’s time again to bring out Texas medicine’s strongest weapon. Register today!

Although the Texas Legislature is becoming more hyper-partisan and hyper-political, TMA continues to work for what’s best for patients and their physicians. Here is medicine’s 2015 legislative agenda, based on TMA's Healthy Vision 2020, Second Edition:   


  • Increase funding for graduate medical education.
  • Improve physicians’ Medicaid and CHIP payments to more appropriately reflect the services they provide to patients.
  • Hold health insurance companies accountable for creating and promoting adequate physician networks.
  • Devise and enact a system for providing health care to low-income Texans that improves efficiencies by reducing bureaucracy and paperwork.
  • Stop any efforts to expand scope of practice beyond that safely permitted by nonphysician practitioners’ education, training, and skills.
  • Promote government efficiency and accountability by reducing Medicaid red tape.
  • Protect physicians’ ability to charge for their services.
  • Improve the state’s public health defense to better respond in a crisis.
  • Preserve Texas’ landmark medical liability reforms.    


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Fist-Bump Your Patients

Trying to find a way to greet your patients but limit the spread of germs? Citing a recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, TMA member Jason Marchetti, MD, has your answer!

His project for the current TMA Leadership College session is an outreach campaign, Fist-Bump Your Doc, reminding people about the need for hygiene measures, especially during flu season, and to introduce the fist-bump as a scientifically validated greeting method that can dramatically decrease germ transmission during hand-to-hand contact. The campaign involves putting up educational posters in waiting rooms and exam rooms to share this information with patients and encourage this more hygienic greeting approach. In his own practice, Dr. Marchetti has found that patients, young and old, have embraced the campaign enthusiastically.  

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Tell Your Patients to Take a Walk — With You  

Your patients can join thousands of others who are walking towards a healthier lifestyle when you sponsor a Walk With a Doc (WWAD). Each month, TMA physicians lead walks in their community and provide short talks on health topics.  

WWAD is a nonprofit organization that encourages healthy physical activity in people of all ages and seeks to reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle and improve the health and well-being of Americans. It was started in 2005 by David Sabgir, MD, a Columbus, Ohio, cardiologist. 

TMA has been part of this national grassroots movement since late 2012, when it conducted a pilot to gauge interest among TMA members. The TMA Foundation (TMAF) makes WWAD Texas possible through a grant to TMA, and this year, thanks to major support from TMA Insurance Trust, the program will increase the number of walk sites from 14 to 24.

For more information about WWAD Texas, visit the Walk With a Doc webpage or contact Debra Heater at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1390, or by email. To support the program with a tax-deductible gift, visit the TMAF website

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Set It and Forget It

“My monthly donation provides steady, dependable support, which enables the foundation to fund programs that reach more Texans each year in the most impactful way,” said Gregory R. Johnson, MD, a member of the TMA Foundation (TMAF) Board of Trustees and Pulse Donor since January 2014. “It’s also an easy way to demonstrate my commitment and support for much-needed programs, such as TMA’s Minority Scholarship Program and TMAF’s General Endowment.”

As a former YPS member, Dr. Johnson furthers his vision of a healthier Texas with convenient, monthly giving through TMAF’s Pulse Donor program. When you become a Pulse Donor, you can “Set it and Forget it,” meaning you decide the amount of your gift, how frequently it will occur, and which credit card to use. TMAF will send you a yearly statement, which is handy because TMAF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of federal law. 

Donations to TMAF’s Annual Fund impact the health of people in your community and all across Texas. That’s because your gift, combined with that of thousands of others, funds a variety of health improvement, science, and quality-of-care projects. 

Pulse Donors are recognized in TMAF newsletters, annual posters on display at all TMA meetings, and on the TMAF website.

For more information or to become a Pulse Donor, contact TMAF at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1466, email Data Manager Marilyn Anderson, or visit the TMAF website.

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 Stay Connected

Keep up with important news and connect with colleagues across the state through the YPS Facebook page.

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