RFS Connection

Winter 2016

News from the  TMA Resident and Fellow Section   


Don’t Miss 2016 TMA Winter Conference Jan. 29–30

Don’t miss 2016 TMA Winter Conference, Jan. 29-30 at the Hyatt Regency in Austin. Attend the TMA Resident and Fellow Section Business Meeting on Saturday, Jan. 30, from noon to 1:30 pm in Hyatt Big Bend A. Register for the conference now, and reserve your hotel room at the Hyatt Regency Austin

Visit the TMA website for more information about Winter Conference, which will include a discussion on Jan. 30 by attorney Jack R. Bierig on the Teladoc v. TMB lawsuit. Saturday’s General Session programming will feature a discussion of demographic changes affecting Texas by Rep. Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock) and a presentation on the future of technology in medicine by Nick van Terheyden, MD, Dell health care and life sciences chief medical officer. 

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Texas Sets Another New Record for Number of Newly Licensed Physicians

Physicians continue to find Texas a good place to practice medicine as evidenced by yet another new record for the number of newly licensed physicians, for the state fiscal year that ended Aug. 31. The Texas Medical Board announced an additional 301 physicians were licensed in 2015, an increase of 7.5 percent over 2014.  

“Twelve years since the passage of our historic 2003 medical liability reforms, we continue to attract new physicians to Texas in record numbers,” said Austin internist Howard Marcus, MD, chairman of Texas Alliance For Patient Access. “I don’t at all find that to be a coincidence.”

    Oct 2015 It's Academic Licensed        

Three of four newly licensed Texas physicians are graduates of medical schools outside of Texas. Forty-five percent were educated at schools in another state and 30 percent in another country.


 Oct 2015 It's Academic New

India was the single largest educator of 2015 newly licensed physicians, with a total of 405. Off-shore medical schools in the Caribbean produced the second-highest number, at 197. 

 Oct 2015 It's Academic Top

In addition to The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, New York, Illinois, and Missouri were among the top-10 that educated the most newly licensed Texas physicians this year. Pakistan was also among the top 10.

Another new report emphasizes that Texas continues to be a national leader in attracting new physicians to the state. The just-released 2015 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Data Book shows Texas ranked second only to California in growth in the number of new patient care physicians in 2012–14 and fifth in the nation in percentage growth. That continues a trend AAMC has documented since 2008. During that period, Texas ranked second nationally both in percentage growth and in attracting the most physicians who treat patients. Texas attracted nearly as many active patient care physicians as Florida and New York combined. 

“Texas has effective medical lawsuit reforms,” Dr. Marcus said. “Florida and New York do not.”

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TMA Publication Focuses on Employment Contracts, Negotiations

Employment Contracts for Physicians: The Comprehensive Guide, Second Edition, written by San Antonio attorney Mike Kreager, is available for purchase from TMA and is packed with practical information about contract details that will equip you to negotiate the most favorable employment agreement possible.  

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AMA Interim Meeting Recap

The AMA Resident and Fellow Section (AMA-RFS) held its Interim Meeting in Atlanta Nov. 13–14. A strong delegation of Texas residents and fellows represented the state and voted on issues affecting residents today and in the future. The Section heard a keynote address by U.S. Congressman Tom Price, MD (GA), regarding his journey through medical school, orthopedic surgery residency, medical practice, and now Congress. He offered many great insights on physician leadership and engagement, as well as balancing family with a successful career. 

Some of the hot issues discussed during the meeting include:  

  • Opposing direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical and device marketing: This was one of the highest profile items from the meeting with dozens of news outlets reporting on the outcome within 24 hours. The AMA-RFS supported this item and gave vociferous testimony to that effect, with it ultimately passing. The United States is one of only two countries (New Zealand is the other) that allows direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical and device marketing. It wastes millions of dollars annually and creates time and educational barriers for physicians attempting to provide the best care to their patients.

  • Educating Americans on graduate medical education (GME): The AMA-RFS delegates worked hard to pass this in the AMA House of Delegates (HOD), calling for AMA to launch a massive public relations campaign aimed at educating the general public regarding the training process for physicians to garner support for expanding GME funding. Fighting for this initially proved difficult, given the large fiscal note attached (more than $1.6 million). However, it was ultimately successful. This issue is of incredible importance to medical students and residents, given the physician shortage, resident slot bottleneck, and increasing number of U.S. medical school graduates who do not match annually.

  • Title X funding for reproductive and preventive health care services: The AMA-RFS supported this issue with an emergency resolution submitted to the AMA HOD at the meeting. Thousands of women, including many in Texas, have recently lost access to preventive health care due to legislative and regulatory actions impeding the delivery of Medicaid reimbursement for services. After an unprecedented level of strategic planning and coordination by the AMA-RFS, the resolution passed. AMA now overtly supports Title X funding and our patients' access to preventive and reproductive health care services.

  • Access to mental health care for physician trainees: The AMA-RFS authored a resolution calling for AMA to encourage health systems, hospitals, and medical schools to offer access to confidential and comprehensive mental health services not affiliated with their place of employment. This comes in the wake of several high-profile suicides among residents nationwide and a general concern for resident wellness. Given the complicated nature of this issue, including prospective payment mechanisms and on-site versus off-site resource allocation, this was referred for further study, with a report back to the AMA HOD at a future meeting.

  • Electronic health record (EHR) interoperability: The AMA HOD voted to delay Stage 3 of the federal government's meaningful use program until real-time integration of EHRs is complete. AMA-RFS delegates vocally supported this item.  

If you're interested in getting involved in organized medicine at the national level, save the date for the AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago on Nov. 13–14, and notify your TMA Section Coordinator

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Texas Residents Win AMA Posts

Congratulations to the Texas residents and fellows who continued the tradition of strong, young Texas leadership in the American Medical Association. John Corker, MD, a resident at The University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, and Laura Faye Gephart, MD, a fellow at Baylor Scott & White, Temple, were elected sectional delegates for the AMA Resident and Fellow Section (AMA-RFS) at the AMA Interim meeting in November. The AMA-RFS also voted to endorse Dr. Gephart as one of two candidates for the resident position on the AMA Council on Medical Service. The election will be in June.

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UTMB Resident Joins TMA Foundation Board

Radiation oncology resident Mani Akharti, MD, chair of the TMA Resident and Fellow Section, will serve a second one-year term on the TMA Foundation (TMAF) Board of Trustees. Dr. Akharti is from The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston. 

TMAF is the philanthropic arm of TMA. TMAF makes initiatives that focus on prevention and healthier lifestyles possible in local communities through TMA’s Be Wise — ImmunizeSM, Hard Hats for Little Heads, Walk With a Doc Texas, and other health improvement programs. In 2015, more than $500,000 in TMAF grants supported 36 health initiatives to create a Healthy Now and Healthy Future. 

Dr. Akharti will serve his term on the TMAF board as a representative of the TMA-RFS. He is an active member of American College of Radiation Oncology, American Society for Radiation Oncology, American College of Radiology, and American Radium Society. 

“It was truly a privilege being able to serve TMAF for the past year and a great learning experience for me personally,” Dr. Akharti said. “I was amazed by all the meaningful programs TMAF has been able to organize all throughout our state and wanted to have the opportunity to continue to serve the organization in my best capacity. Now I have the honor of serving on the Board of Trustees for an additional year.”    

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Apply Now to Serve in TMA, AMA Leadership Positions

Would you like to serve as the resident representative on the TMA Board of Trustees or as the alternate delegate to the Texas Delegation to the American Medical Association? Elections take place at Winter Conference. Apply by Jan. 22 by submitting a letter of intent and CV to RFSInfo@texmed.org

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Nominations Open for the J.T. “Lamar” McNew, MD, Award

Do you know a physician who has provided outstanding mentoring and service to residents and fellows? If so, nominate him or her for the J.T. “Lamar” McNew, MD, Award. The nomination deadline is Jan. 31, 2016. The TMA Resident and Fellow Section will recognize the winning physician during TexMed 2016 in Dallas April 29-30.  

The award is named for Dr. McNew, a retired Bryan physician who served in the Brazos Valley region for many years and was a primary provider of obstetrical services to Medicaid-enrolled women in the area. He also taught at the Texas A&M Health Science Center for 20 years.  

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Submit an Abstract for the 2016 Quality Poster Session

The TMA Council on Health Care Quality and TMF Health Quality Institute announce the fourth annual TMA Quality Poster Session to be held April 30 during TexMed 2016 at the Hilton Anatole Dallas. 

The TMA Quality Poster Session is a platform for physicians and medical students to share their breakthroughs and best practices for better patient care, especially in one or more of the six aims of quality care: that it be safe, timely, effective, equitable, efficient, and patient-centered. 

The TMA Quality Poster Session offers physicians a chance to gain exposure, network with Texas physicians, and have their work published. Here are just a few of the many reasons to participate:     

  • You will present your poster to physicians from across Texas during a continuing medical education event at TexMed 2016.
  • Your abstract will appear on the TMA website, which draws more than 75,000 visitors each month.
  • The top three winners in each category receive a cash award.    

Abstract submissions are due no later than March 25, 2016. All accepted poster exhibitors will receive a travel stipend.  

Please tell colleagues about this event so they can take advantage of this enriching opportunity. For more information, poster parameters, and submission categories, or to see last year’s abstracts, visit the TMA website

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Mark Your Calendar for TexMed 2016 April 29–30

TexMed 2016 will take place April 29–30 in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole. The TMA- RFS Business Meeting will take place at 2 pm on Friday, April 29. Register early, and make hotel reservations to take advantage of the room rate of $199 per night, plus applicable taxes. This rate is available until March 31 or until the room block is full. 

TexMed is TMA's premier educational showcase and expo that draws more than 1,500 Texas physicians, medical students, and medical office staff in one place over two days. If you've never been to TexMed, watch video highlights from past conferences. 

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Video Educates Doctors on Importance of Life Insurance

TMA's latest addition to the Resident Video Library MembersOnlyRed features John Isgitt, vice president of Texas Medical Association Insurance Trust, who discusses the importance of life insurance. The video focuses on the need for life insurance, particularly for resident physicians about to begin medical practice. The video explains the reason for purchasing life insurance, who needs it, and which type of life insurance is best. 

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 Stay Connected

Keep up with important news and connect with colleagues across the state through the RFS Facebook page

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