Texas Among Best in Keeping Medical Students, Residents Practicing In-State, Report Shows
By David Doolittle


Texas continues to rank among the most successful states in retaining physicians from its medical schools and residency programs, beating out 47 other states, data from 2019 show.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Texas is No. 3 in the percentage of physicians retained from both medical school and residency training, behind Hawaii and California. Texas had been ranked fourth, behind Arkansas, in the AAMC’s 2017 report.

To continue this positive trend, the Texas Medical Association has worked hard to promote awareness and support for maintaining the state’s target ratio of 1.1 to 1 first-year residency positions per Texas medical school graduate.

In addition, Texas ranked No. 2 in the percentage of physicians retained from medical school, the same ranking as in 2017, and moved up a slot for the percentage of physicians retained from residency training, from No. 5 to No. 4.

The AAMC’s biennial State Physician Workforce Data Report examines physician supply, medical students, and graduate medical education (GME) residents in each state. The report also contains breakdowns of physicians by specialty, information on where physicians completed GME, and the practice location of trainees who completed GME in state.

Texas’ ratios for patient care physicians and primary care physicians per 100,000 population both improved from 2017 to 2019, but the state rankings remained the same:

  • 41st for the ratio of patient care physicians; and
  • 47th for the ratio of patient care primary care physicians. 

The state’s ranking for the ratio of patient care general surgeons also remained the same at 48th.

Over the past 16 years, Texas has continued to see steady increases in physicians moving to or remaining in state, thanks to historic tort reforms that went into effect in 2003, which TMA strongly supported.

In 2019, Texas set a record for the number of newly licensed physicians – 4,869. Fourteen states have fewer physicians than that in their total workforce.

During the 16 years since tort reform, Texas has issued an average of 3,448 new medical licenses each year. In comparison, the annual average for the 16 years prior was 2,104 – two-thirds the recent trend. All told, 55,000 physicians have been newly licensed since 2003.


Last Updated On

June 17, 2020

Originally Published On

November 11, 2019