Texas Student Doctor: Summer 2017

Summer 2017

 News from the TMA Medical Student Section

TMA Medical Student Section Has New Leadership 

Congratulations to the 2017–18 Medical Student Section (MSS) Executive Council. Ten students won election to the council at TexMed 2017 in Houston in May. More information about them can be found on the TMA-MSS page

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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Need Help Funding Your Medical School Education?

Did you know that TMA has a student loan program? We know there are times when medical students incur unexpected expenses. When this happens, do not hesitate to contact TMA! You may be eligible for up to $4,000 from our loan program with a fixed interest rate of 4.4 percent.

More information about TMA’s student loan program can be found at www.tmaloanfunds.com or by calling (800) 880-2828. Act quickly, funds are limited.

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TMA House Acts on MSS Resolutions 

The TMA-MSS continues to create TMA policy that will help shape the environment in which we will one day practice medicine. The TMA House of Delegates considered several resolutions from the MSS at TexMed 2017, including transgender public facility use and Medicaid expansion. 

Here’s a look at the resolutions and their outcomes:

  • Resolution 107: Support of Evidence-Based Medicine (referred for additional study);
  • Resolution 110: Integrating Advance Directives Conversation to Maintain Autonomy (not adopted);
  • Resolution 111: Addressing Physician Mental Health Status Disclosures (referred);
  • Resolution 202: Medical School Clinical Skills Exam (referred);
  • Resolution 203: Resolving the Impact of Travel and Immigration Bans on Health Care Provision (not adopted); 
  • Resolution 304: Rejection of Discrimination (amended and adopted);
  • Resolution 305: Addressing the Diaper Gap (referred);
  • Resolution 306: Addressing the Need for Improved Water Supply Quality in Texas (amended and adopted);
  • Resolution 308: Expansion of Next Generation 911 (amended and adopted);
  • Resolution 309: Addressing the Medical Inaccuracies of the Mandated “A Woman’s Right to Know” Booklet and Related Information (not adopted);
  • Resolution 310: Healthy Food in Hospitals (adopted);
  • Resolution 311: Addressing Access to Maternal Personal Protective Equipment from Radiation (not adopted);
  • Resolution 312: Implementing a Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax in Texas (referred);
  • Resolution 313: Improved Concussion Protocol to Reduce Psychological Morbidity in High School Athletes (referred);
  • Resolution 314: Promoting Increased Awareness and Research for Grade School Soccer-Related Head Injury (referred);
  • Resolution 315: Addressing the Expanding Habitats of Vectors of Infectious Disease (adopted);
  • Resolution 316: Addressing Transgender Public Facility Use (amended and adopted);
  • Resolution 317: Precision Medicine in Refractory Cancer Treatment and Transparency in Compendia Used for Providing Coverage for Off-Label Cancer Drug Usage (not adopted);
  • Resolution 318: Access to Special Education Services (adopted and referred);
  • Resolution 409: Medicaid Payments for Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy (referred);
  • Resolution 410: Public-and Private-Sector Funding of Interpretation Services for Limited English Speakers and American Sign Language (adopted);
  • Resolution 411: Clearer Language Regarding the Physician’s Role in Providing Auxiliary Aid for Effective Communication Under Current Federal Laws (referred); and
  • Resolution 413: Addressing Zika through Increasing Medicaid Coverage of Insect Repellent (adopted).

Read more details and a summary of actions on these and other House of Delegates issues on the TMA website. Want to help with TMA policy? Plan to attend TexMed 2018 in San Antonio, May 18-19. 

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Medicine Scores Key Education, Public Health Wins During Legislature

Texas lawmakers helped pave the way for two possible new medical schools, while ensuring that graduates have more options for residency positions, during the 85th Legislature.

House Bill 1913, authored by Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), allows the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (UNTHSC) to partner with Texas Christian University to set up an allopathic medical school in Fort Worth. The bill removed a restriction in state law that prohibited UNTHSC from operating an allopathic medical school while it also runs the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The new medical school is scheduled to open in 2019.

The University of Houston was given the authority to study the need for an additional medical school in Houston, which is already home to The University of Texas Health Science Center and Baylor College of Medicine.

Meanwhile, Senate Bill 1066, authored by Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD, (R-Georgetown), requires that any medical school that plans to offer a medical degree must simultaneously provide a plan for ensuring there are sufficient graduate medical education (GME) positions for the expected graduates.

In a related measure, lawmakers approved House Concurrent Resolution 102 by Rep. J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville), which places a priority on providing a substantial increase in funding for GME before the state considers authorizing and supporting new medical schools. In this year's budget, lawmakers continued the past several sessions’ trend of increased GME spending. The new budget adds $41.22 million for GME in 2018-19, or 25.7 percent over 2016-17 levels.

Other education-related measures lawmakers approved include: 

  • Continued funding to support 11 medical schools, including the two schools that opened in 2016. An additional $59 million, an increase of 9.9 percent, was provided through the medical student formula funding process. This includes funding for 200 more medical students than in 2016-17;
  • Reduced funding for the Family Practice Residency Program by $6.78 million, or 40 percent. This brought total funding down to $10 million;
  • Directed the Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to conduct a study on the best method for enhancing state funding for GME through the Medicaid program, with a report due Dec. 1, 2018;
  • Reduced funding for the State Physician Education Loan Repayment Program by $8.45 million, or 25 percent. This brought down total funding to $25.35 million; and
  • Continued funding for the Primary Care Preceptorship Program, at $3 million.  

Medicine also saw several public health victories in the 85th Legislature, including: 

  • House Bill 62 by Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland) to ban texting while driving statewide is on Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. After a 10-year journey and a nearly unanimous vote, hopefully the governor will sign it into law.
  • House Bill 3576 by Rep. Bobby Guerra (D-McAllen) will shore up the state’s testing and screening capabilities for infectious diseases, such as the Zika virus.
  • Senate Bill 1680, authored by Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr, (D-Brownsville), which will establish a border task force designed to improve communications among public health officials on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. 

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Thank You From the TMA Foundation

More than 50 TMA-MSS members volunteered at the Texas Medical Association Foundation’s (TMAF’s) 24th-annual gala, BLAST OFF!, at the Marriott Marquis in Houston on May 5.

Their participation helped TMAF raise $275,000 to help support TMA’s award-winning programs such as Hard Hats for Little Heads (HHLH), Walk with a Doc Texas (WWAD), the Ernest and Sarah Butler Excellence in Science Teaching Awards, and more. Additionally, grants to TMA county medical societies and TMA Alliance and medical student chapters are made possible through funds raised at the gala.

This event is TMF’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. Participation by medical students at the 2017 gala enables the foundation to continue the most worthy and effective of these programs. Photos from the event are available on the TMAF’s Flickr page.

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TMA-MSS Members Give/Win Awards at TexMed 2017   

The TMA-MSS presented three awards at TexMed 2017:   

  • Cedric Dark, MD, of Houston, won the C. Frank Webber, MD, Award, which honors a Texas physician for outstanding service to the MSS; 
  • Baylor College of Medicine won Chapter of the Year; and
  • Hayley Rogers, of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, won Medical Student of the Year.    

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TMA-MSS Takes the Lead at AMA Meeting in Chicago

In June, the Texas Delegation met in Chicago for the American Medical Association annual meeting. It is during these meetings that Texas medical students, working with Texas physicians, make national policy.

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

  • Jerome Jeevarajan of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, AMA-MSS Delegate to the AMA House of Delegates; 
  • Emily Dewar, McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston,  Chair of AMA-MSS Region 3;
  • Aaron Wolbrueck, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Secretary of AMA-MSS Region 3; and
  • Jason Meschin, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Community Service Chair of AMA-MSS Region 3. 

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 Texas A&M Student Named AMA Fellow

William Estes, a fourth-year student at Texas A&M, was selected AMA Government Relations Advocacy Fellow of 2017-18.

The fellowship allows a medical student to develop legislative knowledge and advocacy skills by working directly with the AMA's staff in Washington.

“A key goal of the fellowship is to educate medical student, resident, and young physician AMA members about issues in public health and health policy in order to encourage activism and leadership in local communities,” according to the AMA website. 

The position’s duties and assignments include researching and analyzing current issues in health and medical education policy, and speaking to medical students and resident physicians about public health and policy issues.

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Be a Health Leader with a TMAF Grant

TMAF is now accepting applications to its 2017-2018 Medical Student Leadership Grants programs. There are two deadlines: Aug. 15 and Dec. 15. TMA-MSS chapters may apply for up to $3,000 for a grant to support their community health improvement initiative. Find out more and apply online at the TMAF website.

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October Outreach: Get on Board

It’s not too early to start planning a TMA outreach event in October. Here are two opportunities that will allow you to help keep your community healthy: 

  • Hard Hats for Little Heads Month: Now in its 23rd year, TMA’s Hard Hats for Little Heads is going strong. Be part of the ongoing success by planning a bike helmet giveaway in October. You could give helmets at a fall or community festival, National Night Out event, or a stand-alone giveaway.

    TMA provides everything you need for a successful event: helmets, event signage, promotional flyers, educational handouts, and media relations support. When you purchase up to 50 helmets, TMA will match your purchase with free helmets. Helmets are $7.60 each, including shipping. Be sure to order your helmets and other supplies at least a month in advance.  
  • Influenza Awareness Day: Be Wise — ImmunizeSM wants to have at least 12 flu shot clinics in October, which marks the start of flu season. Will you help? You can host a clinic any time, from Influenza Awareness Day on Oct. 1 through the end of the month. If you can’t host a shot clinic, TMA has tools you can use to educate your community about the importance of getting the flu vaccination. (Download our helpful infographic and fact sheet).  

If you do decide to host or help with a Hard Hats event, TMA’s new helmet fit infographic shows kids how their helmet should fit and can help parents do a better job of fitting them. This new tool is available for you to use at helmet giveaway events or post in physicians’ offices, schools, and other local spots where parents and kids gather. Feel free to download or request copies from TMA. 

To find out how you can get involved, contact Tammy Wishard, TMA’s outreach coordinator, or call (512) 370-1470. 

TMA’s Hard Hats for Little Heads and Be Wise — ImmunizeSM are made possible in 2017 through grants from TMAF, the philanthropic arm of TMA. Generous gifts from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio, an anonymous physician and spouse, and TMAF Make-A-Difference donors make Hard Hats possible, and top donations from H-E-B and TMF Health Quality Institute make Be Wise possible. Both programs also are supported by TMA and TMA Alliance members and friends of medicine. 

Be Wise – Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.

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A&M Medical Students to Do Clinical Training at Fort Hood

The Texas A&M Health Science Center and Fort Hood’s Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC) have formalized a partnership that makes the medical center a clinical training site for Texas A&M medical students.

Under the agreement, second- through fourth-year A&M medical students will receive education and training at the CRDAMC.

CRDAMC’s Army physicians will serve as the program’s teaching faculty and will assist the students in their specialty rotations, which will begin in the fall. Rotations will include emergency medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, and surgery.

“This agreement aids us in our readiness mission and will greatly enhance the care we deliver at Fort Hood,” Col. Mark W. Thompson said in a statement. “Readiness is our number one priority. The education opportunities are mutually beneficial. Not only does teaching medical students challenge our physicians to stay at the top of their game, being in a military medical environment allows medical students the chance to sharpen their critical thinking and communication skills. These skills are indispensable to quality health care delivery, whether military or civilian.” 

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Survey: U.S. Medical School Enrollment Close to Meeting Growth Target

U.S. medical school enrollment is up 28 percent in the past 15 years, inching closer to the target of 30 percent set for 2015 by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in 2002. This goal was set in response to a series of forecasts by AAMC that all pointed to a continuing shortage of physicians. AAMC also determined more funding for residency programs is still needed to meet demand for physicians nationwide, according to its annual survey.

According to the survey of deans, first-year U.S. medical school enrollment reached 21,030 in 2016-17, up from 16,488 in 2002-03. During that same time, 22 medical schools were established and accredited, accounting for almost 40 percent of the enrollment growth.

To meet the growing demand for physicians amid federal restrictions on the funding of residency positions, 96 percent of all respondents said they had put into place or were planning specific programs or policies designed to recruit a diverse student body.

The survey also found that only 39 percent of respondents were concerned about their own incoming students’ ability to find residency positions, though 80 percent were concerned about the availability of residency spots nationwide.

In addition, the number of schools reporting competition for clinical training sites from doctor of osteopathic medicine-granting schools and other health care professional programs has more than doubled since 2009, from 26 percent to 53 percent. 

Growth for Texas medical school enrollments is well ahead of the national trends. With the opening of the University of the Incarnate Word Osteopathic Medical School in San Antonio in the fall, the state’s projected medical school matriculants will reach a total of 2,066, an increase of 54 percent from 1,342 in 2002. This far exceeds the call by the AAMC for a 30-percent increase.  

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Save the Date: TMA Fall Conference Sept. 15-17, 2017

Mark your calendar for TMA Fall Conference, which will take place Sept. 15-16 at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Bastrop. The conference provides an opportunity for physicians and medical students to conduct TMA business and network with peers.

The MSS Business Meeting will take place from 12:30-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. Check the MSS web page for meeting location details. 

TMA’s special room rate is $214 for single or double occupancy. Reserve a room by calling (888) 421-1442 and asking for the TMA Fall Conference discount rate. The deadline to book your hotel reservation at the TMA rate is Aug. 30.  

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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?   

Check out the MSS Leadership Manual for resources on topics from resolution writing to funding to leadership opportunities and more.

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Connect With TMA on Social Media  

Are you keeping up with TMA on social media? 

TMA is very active on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn. We also have a robust YouTube channel with hundreds of videos by and about TMA. These pages help us communicate with our more than 49,000 members and keep you informed about news, events, member benefits, and our advocacy efforts. Of course, the TMA MSS has its own Facebook page. Please join in the conversation and post your photos

We hope you will follow, like, tweet, and engage with us. We’d also like to hear from you! If you have any social media questions or suggestions, contact Jen Rios in the TMA Communications Division at jennifer.rios[at]texmed[dot]org.  

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Last Updated On

December 12, 2017