Education: Planning for Growth
By Sean Price Texas Medicine August 2019

 Feb_19_TM_Perspective

Charting Medicine's Statehouse Progress

Medical education made some gains in the 2019 legislative session, including the statutory approval of two new medical schools – the University of Houston College of Medicine in Houston and Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Conroe, both of which will open in 2020.

The Texas Medical Association also achieved an important goal with passage of Senate Bill 1378, sponsored by Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway), which requires new public medical schools to plan for the graduate medical education (GME) needs of their target class size. Previously, schools had to plan only for their inaugural class sizes, which are often considerably smaller.

Legislators provided $762 million over two years to support the education of medical students, an increase of $12.8 million, and $98.5 million in GME funding, an increase of $8.4 million. They also asked the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to study shortages of physicians and other health professionals.

Other education bill highlights include:

• House Bill 2261 by Armando Walle (D-Houston) increases the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program’s allowable repayment assistant amounts by $5,000 each year. This raises the total repayment assistance available from $160,000 to $180,000.
• House Bill 1065 by Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) creates a grant program to develop residency training tracks to prepare physicians for rural and underserved settings. However, lawmakers did not appropriate any funds for the program.

Tex Med. 2019;115(8):21 
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Last Updated On

August 02, 2019

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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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