Stories written by Steve Levine

An In-Your-Face Confrontation With the Anti-Vaccine Movement - 05/10/2019

Call it fate, karma, destiny. It was written in his stars, in his professional DNA. It had to happen. Houston pediatrician and microbiologist Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, just had to write Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism.


When the Sausage Starts to Smell - 05/09/2019

Today and tomorrow in the Texas House of Representatives are not for the meek or faint of heart. Sometimes even the boldest of women and men just have to look away.


Tell Your Lawmaker To Include $500 Million Medicaid Pay Boost In State Budget - 04/29/2019

The 10 men and women charged with negotiating the final shape of the state’s 2020-21 budget have received a powerful message from Texas physicians: A strong Texas depends on significant and continuous investments in health care. TMA is urging physicians, medical students, and alliance members who are constituents of the 10 conference committee members to reinforce medicine’s message with telephone calls, emails, letters, and personal visits of their own.


Tell Your Senator To Include $500 Million Medicaid Pay Boost In State Budget - 04/29/2019

The 10 men and women charged with negotiating the final shape of the state’s 2020-21 budget have received a powerful message from Texas physicians: A strong Texas depends on significant and continuous investments in health care. TMA is urging physicians, medical students, and alliance members who are constituents of the 10 conference committee members to reinforce medicine’s message with telephone calls, emails, letters, and personal visits of their own.


Tell Your Representative To Include $500 Million Medicaid Pay Boost In State Budget - 04/29/2019

The 10 men and women charged with negotiating the final shape of the state’s 2020-21 budget have received a powerful message from Texas physicians: A strong Texas depends on significant and continuous investments in health care. TMA is urging physicians, medical students, and alliance members who are constituents of the 10 conference committee members to reinforce medicine’s message with telephone calls, emails, letters, and personal visits of their own.


Online Anti-Vaxxers Don’t Deter Texas Physician - 03/13/2019

Frisco anesthesiologist Zach Jones, MD, doesn't let antivax Internet trolls stop him from spreading vaccination message.


Healthy Vision 2025 Calls for Teamwork, not Scope Expansion - 02/07/2019

The sentence has appeared in every edition of the Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision series since the first Healthy Vision 2010 was published 14 years ago: “TMA opposes any efforts to expand any health professionals’ scope of practice beyond what is safely permitted by their education, training, and skills.” That focus on safety remains an integral part of  Healthy Vision 2025 , published last week. And that sentence remains, verbatim.    


Physician’s Emotional Tale Illustrates the Tragedy of Maternal Death - 02/07/2019

I’d never met Eugene Hunt, MD, but reached out to him last year as we were writing  Healthy Vision 2025 , the latest edition of TMA’s advocacy blueprint. A major section of the document details our legislative plans to address Texas’ alarming increase in maternal morbidity and mortality. I wanted to include the story of a physician who had been through the trauma of losing a new mother post-partum. I got a tip to call Dr. Hunt.


Healthy Vision 2025 Aims to Stop Outside Interference - 02/07/2019

The Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision 2025 ¾ released this week ¾ seeks to eliminate the burnout-inducing interference that wastes physicians’ time and delays their patients’ care.


Our Healthy Vision for Healthy Texans Starts With Healthy Practices - 02/07/2019

The Texas Medical Association’s  Healthy Vision 2025 – released last week – draws a roadmap for how legislators can ensure that Texas physicians can keep their practices running and robust so they can provide the care their patients need.


More Dissatisfaction With U.S. Health Care Quality, Access - 02/05/2019

The percentage of Americans dissatisfied with the quality and availability of health care in the nation have reached levels not seen in a decade, according to data the Gallup organization released in late January.


Healthy Vision 2025 Provides Medicaid, Uninsured Fixes - 02/04/2019

The combination of the country’s highest uninsured rate and a stressed Medicaid program threaten not only the health of millions of Texans, but also the health of the economy, Texas Medical Association President Doug Curran, MD, says. TMA’s Healthy Vision 2025 ¾ released this week ¾ urges the Texas Legislature to take meaningful steps to make it easier for every Texan to see a physician.


Healthy Vision 2025 Launched – TMA’s Advocacy Agenda for Health - 01/28/2019

The Texas Medical Association today formally launched Healthy Vision 2025, the association’s strategic advocacy plan to “put the health back into health care.” The 31-page document focuses on TMA’s advocacy goals for the 2019 Texas Legislature.


Check Out TMA’s Free, Online Patient Safety Course - 01/24/2019

It’s one of those hidden gems of TMA membership: a comprehensive online course to help you improve patient safety. It’s also a very good course. And thanks to the generous support of our friends at TMA Insurance Trust, Patient Safety and Medical Errors is free for members.


Muslim Surgeon Keeps Leadership Post in Tarrant County GOP - 01/11/2019

Southlake trauma surgeon Shahid Shafi, MD, will retain his position as vice chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party after a failed attempt to vote him out of the position because he is Muslim.


Americans Rank Physicians No. 2 in Honesty and Ethics, Again - 12/21/2018

Health care professions hold down the three top spots in the Gallup Poll’s 2018 annual ranking for honesty and ethical standards. Nursing came in first — for the 17th consecutive year — followed by physicians and pharmacists.


A Sermon Every Physician Should Read - 11/17/2018

Linda G. Fischer, a chaplain with the Palliative Care Team at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, offered the following as the opening invocation at the 2018 Interim Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates on Nov. 10, 2018. This reporter was so struck by the power of her words that I felt every Texas physician would benefit from reading them.


A Sermon Every Physician Should Read - 11/17/2018

Linda G. Fischer, a chaplain with the Palliative Care Team at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, offered the following as the opening invocation at the 2018 Interim Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates on Nov. 10, 2018. This reporter was so struck by the power of her words that I felt every Texas physician would benefit from reading them.


Best of Both Worlds: Surgical Resident, Grey’s Anatomy Consultant Blends the Arts and Medicine - 11/14/2018

San Antonio surgical resident Michael Metzner, MD, blends his passions for the arts and medicine as a Grey’s Anatomy consultant.


Three Texans Earn AMA Honors - 11/12/2018

The American Medical Association on Saturday honored three Texans for their service to the residents of the state and to their physicians.


Family of Medicine Grows in Texas Legislature - 11/07/2018

Dallas attorney whose wife is a gastroenterologist brings to eight the number of Family of Medicine members who will serve in the Texas Legislature next year. Democrat Julie Johnson joins seven TMA-member physicians who will return to the Texas Senate and House in 2019.


Summit Seeks Medicaid Improvements - 10/22/2018

Physicians, hospital administrators, and health plan executives gathered at the Texas Medical Association building last week in search of common ground to improve the state’s Medicaid system.


Pick Up the Phone; Join TMA’s Oct. 23 Legislative Town Hall - 10/16/2018

TMA is taking to the phone — your home phone — to hear what’s on your mind. Answer your phone at 7 pm CT, Tuesday, Oct. 23, to take part in TMA’s Tele-Town Hall meeting on the 2019 legislative session.


Pick Up the Phone; Join TMA’s Oct. 22 Legislative Town Hall - 10/16/2018

TMA is taking to the phone — your home phone — to hear what’s on your mind. Answer your phone at 7 pm CT, Monday, Oct. 22, to take part in TMA’s Tele-Town Hall meeting on the 2019 legislative session.


First Telephone Town Hall Meeting Explores Medicine’s 2019 Legislative Agenda - 09/28/2018

Nearly 800 North Texas physicians joined the Texas Medical Association’s first regional telephone town hall meeting this week, in preparation for the 2019 Texas Legislature.