House Not Ready for Plan for Unmatched Graduates
By Sean Price


A proposal to allow medical school graduates who have not been matched to a residency to practice medicine received lots of debate but little traction at the Texas Medical Association House of Delegates last weekend.

TMA’s International Medical Graduate Section submitted the resolution to reverse current TMA policy of opposing “the creation of special licensing pathways for physicians who have not completed a year of residency training.”

Instead, it called for TMA to draft a bill for the 2019 Texas legislative session that would “establish a licensing program for qualified U.S. medical school graduates and [Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates]-certified international medical graduates with specific U.S. legal status who have not entered residency training due to a shortage of residency positions.” Anyone licensed this way would be under the supervision of a physician in a specialty for which there is a physician shortage.

Speakers in favor of the resolution pointed out that although the state has a chronic shortage of physicians, a few dozen medical students fail to match to a residency each year. Each of those students represent thousands of hours of education that could be put to use, proponents said. 

TMA’s Council on Medical Education opposed the measure. Outgoing council chair Steven Hays, MD, argued that it would create two tiers of physicians and that it could, for regulatory purposes, put physicians on the same level as nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

“This would give the mid-levels the goals that they have been after for a very long time,” Dr. Hays said. 

The House of Delegates took no up-or-down vote on the measure. Instead, delegates asked to study the issue further and report back in 2019. 

Last Updated On

May 23, 2018

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Sean Price


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Sean Price is a reporter for Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. He grew up in Fort Worth and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. He's worked as an award-winning writer and editor for a variety of national magazine, book, and website publishers in New York and Washington. He's also helped produce Texas-based marketing campaigns designed to promote public health. Sean lives in Austin and enjoys hiking, photography, and spending time with his wife and two sons.

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