Stories written by Sean Price

New TMA Policy: Reduce Fentanyl Overdoses with Improved Naloxone Access - 06/14/2024

Over a 27-hour period this spring, the city of Austin saw nine people die across 79 separate overdose incidents, reflecting the severity of the statewide fentanyl crisis. Policy approved by the Texas Medical Association’s House of Delegates in May anticipated the problem and promotes one of the most effective solutions – increased education about and distribution of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug.


TMA Moment in Time: Hurricane Harvey Response - 04/09/2024

In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped a record 60 inches of rain in four days on the Gulf Coast region. The Texas Medical Association quickly put together a response that helped physicians in need and saved lives among those affected by the storm.


TMA Moment in Time: First Tuesdays at the Capitol - 04/09/2024

TMA’s signature advocacy event offers invaluable facetime with lawmakers.


Quality of Life: Pay-for-Quality Programs Increasingly Address Nonmedical Drivers of Health - 03/15/2024

Insurance payers seldom give physicians incentives to address nonmedical drivers of health, especially in traditional fee-for-service payer contracts. Those incentives remain rare even in pay-for-quality programs that emphasize value-based care, but they are gaining traction.


Talk to Patients About: Measles - 02/20/2024

Few Americans today remember when measles was deadly. But before the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, the disease killed about 2.6 million globally each year. By 2016, vaccination programs cut that number to about 89,000.


Cannabidiol Takes a Big Step Toward Respectability - 01/25/2024

In September, the DEA issued an order listing all drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that contain cannabidiol but no more than 0.1 percent of the chief psychoactive agent in cannabis as Schedule V drugs — those with the least potential for abuse. So far, Epidiolex is the only medication that fits that description.


TMA’s LGBTQ Health Section Elects New Leaders - 01/24/2024

The LGBTQ Health Section kicked off its status as the Texas Medical Association’s newest section by electing a fresh slate of top officers. Newly elected section Chair Maria Monge, MD, encouraged TMA physicians and medical students to join the section whether or not they identify as LGBTQ.


Physicians’ DEA Registration Now Requires Training on Substance Use Disorder - 01/03/2024

Physicians who must register or renew their registration for a Drug Enforcement Administration license will face a new requirement as of June 27: To register, they will have attest to taking a one-time, eight-hour training on how to treat patients with opioid or other substance use disorders.


Solid Foundation: Michael E. Speer, MD, Leads TMA Foundation - 10/23/2023

Houston neonatologist Michael E. Speer, MD, will be leading the Texas Medical Association Foundation for the next two years with plenty of experience under his belt.


Unlocking Doors: Diversity in Medicine Scholarship Program Connects Students with Mentors - 10/21/2023

When the Texas Medical Association founded its Diversity in Medicine Scholarship Program in 1998 to diversify the physician workforce, Dr. Ramamurthy became both a contributor and a mentor to students who receive the scholarships. “When you’re mentoring students, one of the things that you want them to understand is that you’re somebody they can talk to who is not only there as a teacher, but as a friend,” she said. Other top donors to the Diversity in Medicine Scholarship serve voluntarily as mentors to student awardees. TMA encourages those arrangements because they can benefit both parties.


Inspiring Choices: Mentorship Can Boost African-American Representation in Medicine - 10/20/2023

African Americans are underrepresented in medicine. Mentorship can help them choose medical careers.


Fulfilling a Dream - 10/20/2023

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine has largely dispensed with lectures and focuses more on group learning and practical experience. This and other innovations dovetail with the school's focus on public health, which is vital in a region notorious for high poverty and chronic health problems.


Opening Doors: Texas’ Newest Medical Schools Founded to Improve Care for Underserved Patients - 10/03/2023

Texas’ three newest medical schools were founded with a mission to improve care for underserved patients, especially in East Texas.


Leading in Crisis: Diana L. Fite, MD, Carried TMA During COVID-19 Pandemic - 10/03/2023

Diana L. Fite, MD, carried TMA during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Talk To Your Patients About: Mumps - 09/11/2023

The March issue of Texas Medicine highlights mumps, which spreads easily through sneezing and coughing, or just touching infected surfaces. A vaccine, first introduced in 1967, reduced U.S. cases by 99 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Talk to Your Patients About: Tetanus - 09/11/2023

The April issue of Texas Medicine highlights tetanus, which causes painful spasms that typically occur in jaw muscles but can wrack the entire body, and can be fatal.


Talk to Your Patients About: Meningococcal B - 09/11/2023

Texas Medicine recently highlighted Meningococcal B, a bacterial infection that can affect the blood, brain, and spinal cord with lasting effects like learning difficulties, hearing loss, or limb amputation. The Meningococcal B vaccine is relatively new, having won Food and Drug Administration approval in 2014.


Talk to Your Patients About: Hepatitis B - 09/11/2023

Texas Medicine recently highlighted Hepatitis B, a viral liver infection that spreads through contact with blood and other bodily fluids. Hepatitis B has two stages: acute and chronic. The acute stage is often symptomless, making the disease easy to spread unknowingly. The acute stage normally resolves within six months. But if it becomes chronic, the condition can cause lifelong health problems like cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver failure.


Talk to Your Patients About: Polio - 09/11/2023

February’s Texas Medicine magazine highlights polio, a virus that was mostly  eradicated in the United States by 1979, thanks to a vaccine. However, we still vaccinate children here because the crippling disease remains a problem in Asia and Africa, and it could spread when people travel.


Talk to Patients About: Hib - 09/11/2023

Talk to your patients about Haemophilus influenzae type b – or Hib, which, despite its name, does not cause influenza. However, Hib causes several severe illnesses, particularly meningitis, mostly in children younger than 5.


Talk to Patients About: Diphtheria - 09/11/2023

 Diphtheria infected more than 200,000 and killed 15,000 in the U.S. in 1920, but the growing use of vaccines during that decade caused rates to drop, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. In the 1940s, the diphtheria vaccine was combined with tetanus and pertussis, and the shot became routine for children. Between 2004 and 2017, only two U.S. cases were reported, CDC says.


Watch Herd Immunity at Work - 09/11/2023

A new simulation  shows the brutal intensity of a measles outbreak after the introduction of just one sick person to a community.


TMA Partners to Boost HPV Vaccination Rates - 09/06/2023

To help improve HPV vaccination rates, the Texas Medical Association joined with a coalition of more than 40 other organizations Tuesday to announce a renewed statewide immunization campaign to prevent HPV-related cancers.


Law Would Help Improve Data Collection on Maternal Deaths - 09/06/2023

A bill that became law in December is designed to help states fix some of their problems with collecting maternal death information. The Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2018 would help states and fund maternal mortality review committees that can evaluate, improve, and standardize maternal death data.


Proposed Mental Health Payment Parity Rules Could Restrict Treatments, TMA Tells TDI - 09/06/2023

Proposed rules that would require insurers to cover mental health and substance use disorders at the same rate as other medical procedures could actually exclude or restrict all benefits for certain treatments.