It's Academic

October 2014 

Texas Achieves Record Success in Attracting New Phsyciains

When the state fiscal year ended Aug. 31, the Texas Medical Board reached a new record for newly licensed physicians. Close to 4,000 physicians received their first Texas medical license in fiscal year 2014 — the highest ever for the state. This is an increase of 10 percent over the prior peak of 3,630 reached in 2012, and 11 percent more than in fiscal year 2013. 

It's Academic 10-2014: Newly Licensed Texas Physicians 1

Source: Texas Medical Board
Prepared by: Texas Medical Association

 Texas has averaged an annual increase of 3,255 newly licensed physicians during the 11 years since the state enacted tort reform legislation. This is 38.6 percent more than the annual average of 2,348 for the 11 years leading up to tort reform. 

The number of medical license applications also reached a new peak, exceeding 5,000 for the first time. This is a jump of 11.7 percent over the previous record, set last year. The board reported all-time record monthly levels of applications for 11 months of fiscal year 2014. 

Information on medical school of graduation is not yet available for these new physicians, but in recent years, more than 70 percent were graduates of medical schools outside Texas. This indicates Texas has a solid record of recruiting physicians from other states and countries.  

Despite these high numbers, however, Texas continues to rank 43rd in a state comparison of physicians per capita, as reported by American Medical Association. Shortages persist in the state, and the state needs to continually recruit outside Texas, as well as educate and train more new physicians at Texas programs. 

 It's Academic 10-2014: New Texas Physician License Application

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Applications Open for National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is now accepting applications for its Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) to help medical students reduce their debt after residency. Let medical students know the program provides up to $120,000 to fourth-year students committed to pursuing a residency and career in family medicine, internal medicine, general pediatrics, geriatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, or psychiatry in return for a commitment to work full-time for at least three years in an NHSC-approved site in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need. 

Students also may apply to receive $60,000 to work part-time for at least six years in an approved site. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 13, 2014, at 7:30 pm ET. Visit the NHSC website to learn about the program, determine eligibility, and download an application.

Physicians in the last year of primary care residency training also may be interested in the Texas Physician Education Loan Repayment Program.  

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UTHealth Houston Selected for Core Entrustable Professional Activities Pilot

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has selected The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) as one of 10 medical schools for a pilot project to test implementation of the Core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for Entering Residency. These activities were developed as potential outcome measures for medical school graduates to demonstrate readiness for residency training in an attempt to address concerns about the gap between expectations and residents’ performance on day one of residency. 

The team at UTHealth, made up of Margaret Uthman, MD, associate dean for educational programs; Philip Orlander, MD, vice chair of education; Mark Hormann, MD, pediatric clerkship director; and Allison Ownby, PhD, assistant dean for faculty and educational development, will work with the nine other schools to develop curriculum, assessment tools, and faculty development activities to implement the 13 EPAs expected of graduating medical students, as defined in the Core EPA Guide issued by AAMC in May 2014. These include such activities as residents being able to gather a history, perform a physician exam, and provide an oral presentation of a clinical encounter. 

“The timing for this pilot is ideal, as we currently are proposing a new curriculum for the medical school, which will be innovative and integrated,” Dr. Uthman said. “Our diverse student body and patient population will help us provide unique contributions to this project.”

The pilot program, Reframing Readiness for Residency: A Pilot to Examine the Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency, will be a five-year project. In addition to UTHealth, participating institutions include:  

  • Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons 
  • Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine 
  • New York University School of Medicine
  • Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine 
  • University of Illinois College of Medicine 
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine 
  • Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine 
  • Yale School of Medicine 

“The enthusiastic response from more than 70 institutions demonstrates the significant energy and commitment within academic medicine toward closing the gap between expectations and performance for residents on day one,” said Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC president and chief executive officer. “The institutions selected will complement each other through the unique qualities and skills that each team and medical school brings to the program.”

Find more information about Core EPAs in the July edition of It’s Academic

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Councils Recognize Baylor's Dr. Greenberg for Exemplary Service

TMA’s Council on Medical Education and ad hoc Council of Medical School Deans both recognized Stephen B. Greenberg, MD, for exemplary service at TMA’s 2014 Fall Conference in September. Dr. Greenberg, an infectious disease specialist active in patient care who also teaches and serves as chief of medicine at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, received recognition for his exemplary leadership in medical education and educational research. He served as Baylor’s dean of medical education until recently. 

The councils acknowledged Dr. Greenberg’s leadership role in medical education and eight years of service to the Council on Medical Education as a consultant. The Council of Medical School Deans honored him for his success in working collaboratively on educational research. Because of his vision, the medical deans’ Workgroup on Educational Research formed, with representation from each Texas medical school.  The workgroup successfully conducted multi-institutional research on professional identity formation for medical students related to social media beliefs and behaviors at each campus. The findings will be submitted to a professional journal for publication.    

 Stephen Greenberg Exemplary Service

Rodney B. Young, MD, (right) chair of the TMA Council on Medical Education, and Steven L. Berk, MD, (left) chair of the ad hoc Council of Medical School Deans, present a service certificate to Stephen B. Greenberg, MD, at TMA's 2014 Fall Conference at Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa. 

Photo: Jim Lincoln

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TMA Award Recognizes Excellence in Academic Medicine

TMA is eager to recognize Texas physician leaders who have simultaneously dedicated their lives to the care of their patients and to the preparation of the physician workforce of tomorrow. The TMA Award for Excellence in Academic Medicine recognizes teaching physicians who have a record of TMA leadership and serve as a role model in scholarly activity, mentoring, professional development, advocacy, or community service. If this sounds like you, TMA encourages you to apply for this award. 

“TMA wants to recognize our physician members who are exceptional teachers, mentors, and medical professionals,” said Rodney B. Young, MD, chair of the TMA Council on Medical Education. “Their contributions directly align with TMA’s vision ‘to improve the health of all Texans,’ and this award program underscores their value in preparing the future physician workforce to be leaders in TMA and their communities.”

The program has four recognition levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Eligibility criteria increase with each level. Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels are self-nominating, and all who meet the criteria receive recognition. A selection committee of TMA member physicians chooses the sole Platinum-level award winner each year from among Gold-level recipients. Gold recipients remain eligible for the annual Platinum award for three years, with no need to reapply during that period.

New this year is the opportunity to nominate a physician for recognition at one of the three levels. You can find information on the nomination process on the TMA website

All recipients receive a printed certificate and recognition by the TMA Council on Medical Education and Subcommittee for Academic Physicians at the next TexMed, the TMA House of Delegates’ annual meeting. The Platinum award winner also receives a $5,000 cash award and trophy, generously provided through a grant from the Texas Medical Association Foundation. In addition, all recipients receive recognition in TMA’s award-winning newsmagazine, Texas Medicine; as well as It’s Academic; and the Handbook for Delegates at TexMed.

If you have questions, contact Jennifer McHaney at TMA at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1451, or (512) 370-1451, or

Physicians may download applications applications now through Dec. 8. Deadline for submission to TMA is Dec. 8, 2014, at 5 pm (CT). Apply today, and get the credit you’re due! 

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TMA Outlines Its Top 10 Advocacy Agenda for 2015

The fields of engagement — the Texas Legislature, U.S. Congress, courts, state and federal bureaucracies — are many. The issues are all-encompassing. But TMA’s approach, as outlined in Healthy Vision 2020, Second Edition, is clear.

You can order print copies from the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955. 

Here’s TMA's top 10 list:  

  1. Increase Medicaid primary care physician payments on par with Medicare and extend higher payments to subspecialists and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  2. Devise and enact a system for providing health care to low-income Texans with realistic payment to physicians, less stifling state bureaucracy, and no fraud-and-abuse witch hunts.
  3. Repeal the broken Sustainable Growth Rate formula. Enact a rational Medicare physician payment system that works and is backed by a fair, stable funding formula.
  4. Increase funding for graduate medical education.
  5. Protect Texas’ landmark medical liability reforms.
  6. Stop any efforts to expand scope of practice beyond that safely permitted by nonphysician practitioners’ education, training, and skills.
  7. Standardize Medicaid managed care administrative processes.
  8. Ensure criteria used to measure physicians’ performance are evidence-based, fair, and accurate, and truly evaluate quality and efficient care, not just cost.
  9. Stop Recovery Audit Program bounty hunters.
  10. Eliminate the adoption of ICD-10 coding system. 

UTMB Appoints New Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

Selwyn O. Rogers, MD, a surgeon and public health expert with credentials from Harvard, Vanderbilt, and Temple schools of medicine, is the new vice president and chief medical officer for the Health System at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Rogers also will serve as assistant dean for clinical affairs in the school of medicine. He will assume his duties Dec. 1, 2014.

“When we interviewed Dr. Rogers for the position, his passion for patient care, quality, and service was very evident,” said Donna K. Sollenberger, executive vice president and chief executive officer for UTMB Health System.

Since 2012, Dr. Rogers has served as professor and chair of surgery at Temple University School of Medicine. Before that, he was an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. He also served as director of the Center for Surgery and Public Health and as division chief for trauma, burns, and surgical critical care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and held academic appointments at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College in Nashville.

Dr. Rogers graduated magna cum laude from Harvard when he received his bachelor’s degree in biology. He earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his surgical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, including a research fellowship in surgical oncology and a clinical fellowship in surgical critical care. He also earned a master’s degree in public health from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. 

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Take TMA's Texas Physician Survey

TMA's 2014 Texas Physician Survey is under way. Complete the survey, and give TMA your opinion on and experience with health care issues. Your feedback helps support the association's policy development and political focus.          

Since 1990, TMA has conducted a biennial survey of Texas physicians that focuses primarily on health care practice and economic and legislative issues. Each month, TMA emails a section of the survey to all Texas physicians with email addresses in the association's directory.

If you have not received an email, contact Jessica Davis, TMA health care research and data analyst. Texas physicians who answer all of the surveys in 2014 are eligible to win one of five Apple iPads. 

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We Could Use Your Help and Encourage Your Participation

TMA has been a longtime advocate for academic faculty and medical schools — monitoring legislation, determining the potential impact on patients, and lobbying for your interests.

TMA is extremely successful in Texas for one reason only. TMA speaks with one strong, firm, and consistent voice — the voice of its members. Only with grassroots support — only with your support — can we continue to be successful for you and your patients. 

Join or renew today, and see what a difference TMA membership can make. Within your department and/or academic institution, funds may be available to cover the cost of your membership. Please check with your department administrator or chair. 

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New-to-Texas Physicians Can Start Here

Are you a new Texas physician? Have you recruited a physician for your school from out of state?

TMA’s Welcome to Texas webpage can help new or returning Texans get their practices up and running. The page provides links doctors need to obtain a Texas license, plus contact information for relevant state and federal agencies and links to resources such as practice consulting for setups, health insurance plan contacts, and employee salary data.

TMA members can email the TMA Knowledge Center or call (800) 880-7955 for fast answers to questions about membership, TMA member benefits and services, practice management or legal information, and more.  

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This Month in Texas Medicine

The September issue of Texas Medicine features a cover story on the growing need for physician involvement in the Texas Medical Association Political Action Committee (TEXPAC) and the group’s mission to ensure medicine’s voice rings in the Texas Legislature and good health policy prevails. It also highlights Texas medical schools’ efforts to help students match, TMA’s latest scope-of-practice battles, the association’s role in recruiting physicians to care for veterans, and tropical disease emerging in Texas. Check out our digital edition.

Also, 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 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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