Texas Student Doctor Newsletter

Summer 2015

 News from the TMA Medical Student Section

BIG Legislative Wins for Medical Students!

Graduate medical education (GME) expansion was medicine’s top priority this legislative session, and thanks to years of advocacy by you and your physician colleagues, the issue was top of mind for lawmakers, too. 

Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) championed the issue from the outset, culminating in her sponsorship of Senate Bill 18. TMA had a big hand in crafting the legislation, which serves as the major vehicle for the $53 million dedicated to expanding first-year residency slots in the 2016-17 biennium, and helping to reach the TMA and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board goal of 1.1 entry-level GME slots per medical school graduate. Programs can use the money to establish new first-year positions, maintain previously unfilled slots, continue positions started with 2014-15 grant funding, or plan brand new programs. 

Other medical education monies include:    

  • $7 million for primary care physician pipeline programs: $4 million above current funding for the existing family medicine residency program and $3 million to restart the Statewide Primary Care Preceptorship Program;
  • A 22-percent increase in biennial per-resident, or “formula,” funding;
  • A 3-percent increase in medical student formula funding;
  • Maintained funding for the State Physician Education Loan Repayment Program; and
  • Additional money for mental health workforce training programs in underserved areas.     

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TMA-MSS Has New Leadership

Congratulations to the 2015-16 Medical Student Section Executive Council. These students were elected at TexMed 2015 in Austin in May. The TMA-MSS Executive Council elects members annually to direct the activities of the section at the state level and would love to hear from you about how you’d like to get more involved. 

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Good Health Grants Now Available From TMA Foundation

Do you have an idea to improve the health of your community? TMA Foundation (TMAF) is accepting applications to its 2015-16 Medical Student Leadership Grants program. Medical student chapters may apply for up to $3,000 for programs that address TMA priorities — tobacco use, obesity/metabolic syndrome, mental health and substance use disorders, violence, victimization, unintentional injuries, vaccine-preventable diseases (immunizations), unplanned pregnancy, and environmental health (or hazards). Find out more, including summer deadlines, on the TMAF website

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Need Help Funding Your Medical School Education?

Consider the Texas Medical Association’s education loan program. TMA offers $4,000 student loans for Texas medical students at a fixed interest rate of 4.4 percent.

Visit www.tmaloanfunds.com or call (800) 880-2828 for more information. If you are interested, contact your school’s financial aid office to request an application. Funds are available now for the 2015-16 school year. 

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TMA-MSS Members Win Awards at TexMed 2015

The Medical Student Section presented three awards at TexMed 2015:     

  • Russell W. H. Kridel, MD, of Houston won the C. Frank Webber, MD, Award, which honors a Texas physician for outstanding service to the Medical Student Section; 
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston won Chapter of the Year; and
  • Kayla Riggs of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston won Medical Student of the Year.    

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TMA House Acts on Medical Student Resolutions

The TMA Medical Student Section continues to create TMA policy that will help shape the environment in which you will one day practice medicine. The TMA House of Delegates considered several resolutions from the Medical Student Section at TexMed 2015. The resolutions submitted covered topics from vaccinations to advance directives.  

Four of the 12 resolutions submitted by the MSS were adopted, three were referred for further study, and five were not adopted. Here’s a look at some of the resolutions:     

  • Resolution 101, TMA Ethics Positions on Advance Directives to Agree With AMA Positions (referred directly to the Board of Councilors);
  • Resolution 201, Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Medical Student Safety (amended and adopted);
  • Resolution 303, Improve Access to Opioid Antagonists to Reduce Overdose (in lieu of resolution, adopted as amended by the Joint Council on Science and Public Health and Task Force on Behavioral Health);
  • Resolution 304, Increasing Identification, Support, and Reporting of Human Trafficking Victims (referred);
  • Resolution 305, Promoting Safe Exit From Prostitution (adopted);
  • Resolution 307, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (referred); and
  • Resolution 406, Health Care of Undocumented Children (amended and adopted).    

For details and a summary of actions on these and other House of Delegates issues, visit the TMA website. Want to help with TMA policy? Plan to attend TexMed 2016 in Dallas. 

In June, the Texas Delegation took resolution 305 to the meeting of the American Medical Association House of Delegates, which adopted it nearly verbatim. This is how Texas medical students, working with Texas physicians, make national policy! 

Additionally, these Texas students won positions at the AMA June meeting:    

  • Theresa Phan of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, vice speaker of the AMA Medical Student Section (MSS);
  • San Antonio medical student Jennifer Nordhauser, chair of AMA-MSS Region 3; and
  • Jerome Jeevarajan, a student at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, legislative chair of AMA-MSS Region 3.    

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Save the Dates

Mark your calendar for TMA Fall Conference, which will take place Sept. 25-26 at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Bastrop. The conference provides an opportunity for physicians and medical students to conduct TMA business, obtain continuing medical education, and network with peers. 

TMA’s special room rate is $199 for single or double occupancy. Reserve a room by calling (888) 421-1442, and ask for the TMA Fall Conference discount rate. The deadline to book your hotel reservation at the TMA rate is Aug. 28.  

And be sure to save the date for the AMA Medical Student Section Interim Meeting in Atlanta Nov. 12-14. 

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Thank You From the TMA Foundation

More than 50 TMA Medical Student Section members volunteered at TMA Foundation’s 22nd annual gala, A Lawn Party, at the Hilton Austin on May 1. Their participation had an impact well beyond the success of one evening because the record $386,000 raised enables Texans to benefit from TMA’s health improvement initiatives. 

This event is TMA Foundation’s single largest annual fundraising effort. This fall, the TMAF Board of Trustees will act on a number of requests for philanthropic program support from county medical societies and alliance and medical student chapters. The participation by medical students at the 2015 gala enables the foundation to continue the most worthy and effective of these programs.  

Because of the student volunteers, the family of medicine is able to work together toward creating a healthy now and a healthy future for all Texans. The funds raised support TMA initiatives that address immunizations, head injury prevention and awareness, and health care challenges due to inequities in minority physician-to-patient ratios. To learn more, visit www.tmaf.org

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Resources for You and Your Chapter 

Looking for help planning chapter events? Want clarification on parliamentary procedure? Not sure who the contact is for your council or committee?  

Visit the MSS Leadership Manual for resources on a range of topics from resolution writing to funding to leadership opportunities and more.  

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