Spring 2016

 News from the TMA Medical Student Section

Don't Miss TexMed 2016; MSS Schedule at a Glance

The TMA Medical Student Section (TMA-MSS) focuses on issues unique to Texas medical students and provides a forum for communicating with other students and the membership at large. As an MSS member, you can help create TMA policy and help shape the environment in which you will one day practice medicine.  

Join us for the next MSS business meeting at TexMed 2016 in Dallas on Friday, April 29, at 1 pm.  

The meeting will include discussion on pertinent resolutions before the House of Delegates, Leadership Honor Society recognition, Executive Council elections, and more.  

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 Student, Resident, and Young Physician Mixer at TexMed

Don’t miss an opportunity to mingle with your peers at the student mixer Friday, April 29, from 10 pm to 2 am at Gossip, located in the Tower Lobby of the Hilton Anatole.  

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 Hurry! TexMed 2016 Registration Is Open

Register today for TMA’s free annual conference, and join thousands of Texas physicians and fellow medical students as TexMed 2016 descends on Dallas April 29-30 for a weekend of networking, policymaking, and all-around fun.  

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 TMA-MSS to Elect Executive Council Members During TexMed 2016

TMA-MSS elects Executive Council members annually. The MSS Executive Council directs section activities at the state level. Open positions include:   

  • Chair,
  • Vice chair,
  • Reporter,
  • American Medical Association delegate co-leaders (two positions), and
  • TMA delegate co-leaders (two positions).   

To apply for the 2016-17 term, submit a letter of intent and your CV to your section coordinator by April 15. 

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 Apply Now to Serve on TMA Boards, Councils, Committees

Medical student representatives and alternate representatives serve one-year terms on TMA boards, councils, and committees (BCCs). Apply now for the 2016-17 BCC term by submitting an application to your section coordinator by April 15. 

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 Be Recognized for Your Leadership in Medicine

The TMA-MSS Leadership Honor Society recognizes fourth-year medical students who have actively participated in organized medicine in Texas. Accepted honor society members will be acknowledged at TexMed 2016 during the MSS Business Meeting on Friday, April 29. Members will receive honor cords provided by TMA to wear at their medical school graduations. 

Submit an application to your section coordinator by April 15 for recognition. 

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 Mark Your Calendar for AMA-MSS Meeting June 5–6

Pack your bags for Chicago for this year’s American Medical Association Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS) Annual Meeting June 9-11. The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and will offer MSS members a chance to be involved in policy creation, networking, community service, leadership training, and educational and social events.  

Participate in the AMA-MSS Virtual Reference Committee (login required). The reference committee is entirely online. That means only one legislative session at the Annual Meeting instead of two. If you want to influence policy prior to final debate, you’ll have to participate online beginning April 29.  

Make note of the following AMA deadlines:  

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Texas Launches Student Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) launched the Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals to help expand the state’s mental health workforce and improve access to mental health services in Texas.  

The program, created by the passage of Senate Bill 239 by Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown), and Rep. John Zerwas, MD (R-Katy), offers student loan repayment assistance for qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed professional counselors, psychiatric mental health advanced practice nurses, and clinical social workers who agree to provide direct care to underserved Texans.  

THECB is now accepting online applications for the program. The application deadline is May 6.    

“Texas needs a mental health workforce capable of meeting the growing needs of our growing state,” Senator Schwertner said. “Without an adequate number of mental health professionals, we will continue to see those experiencing mental illness cycle through our jails and emergency rooms at great expense to the taxpayer.”  

More than $2 million will fund the program through the 2016-17 biennium — an amount expected to provide more than 100 new health professionals, including 25 physicians, two full years of loan repayment.  

This is the second state loan repayment program available to psychiatrists. The state’s Physician Education Loan Repayment Program has offered loan repayment to psychiatrists for decades. Both programs require practice in an underserved area and offer up to $160,000.    

“The Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals is a critical piece of the overall investment made by the legislature to help solve the state’s mental health crisis,” said Representative Zerwas. “We must continue to work at addressing all aspects of this difficult issue that touches so many Texas families.”  

The shortage of mental health professionals represents one of the state's most serious health care challenges, according to Gov. Greg Abbott’s Healthy Texas plan.  

For more information on the program, email THECB or call (800) 242-3062.  

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Medical Education in Texas Undergoes Major Reformation

Texas is taking on the challenge to reform its medical education system and maintain enough physicians for a growing statewide population. The March issue of Texas Medicine magazine takes a look at why Texas has one of the lowest ratios of physicians to patients of any state in the country — ranking 43rd in the nation — and what strides the state is taking to improve that ratio. 

Texas Medicine’s special medical education symposium issue has articles and commentary written by physicians for physicians, examining medical education in the Lone Star State. The issue aims to educate physicians about the transformation of medical education and how Texas is moving forward with new reforms, preparation of medical students for future challenges, increased state funding for fellowship programs, and the expansion of graduate medical education (GME) positions for any medical graduate who chooses to remain in state for graduate training

“There has been great concern about the physician shortage nationwide and in Texas,” said Surendra K. Varma, MD, coeditor of Texas Medicine’s symposium issue, and vice chair of pediatrics at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). “Texas’ residency positions trail the number of medical graduates Texas produces annually. The unmatched graduates look outside Texas for residency positions. There is general consensus that the majority of residents settle closer to their respective place of training. This could contribute to a physician shortage in Texas,” Dr. Varma said. 

“It’s in our best interest to find room for all of our high-quality graduates, or we risk losing them to other states,” said Christian Cable, MD, a member of the TMA Council on Medical Education and director of the hematology-oncology fellowship at Baylor Scott & White in Temple. 

The current state of education reform, in Texas and nationwide, goes back to 2010 and the Carnegie Foundation’s report, Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency. Texas Medicine magazine examines how the report sparked a national movement in medical schools to implement competency-based education; greater integration of students into health care delivery; and professional identity formation, which establishes core values, moral principles, and self-awareness; and in some schools to consider three-year medical curricula. 

Christina M. Gutierrez; Susan M. Cox, MD, and John L. Dalrymple, MD, authors of the article “The Revolution in Medical Education,” describe Texas’ current medical education reformation paradigm as “creating entirely new models that incorporate unique curriculum elements with the latest knowledge in learning and assessment strategies and innovative teaching methods, as well as technology to better equip students for the medical practice of tomorrow.” 

The reformation also is helping Texas meet its future health care needs in rural areas by way of the Family Medicine Accelerated Track, a three-year curriculum that links medical students to family medicine residency programs at TTUHSC campuses in Lubbock, Amarillo, or the Permian Basin (Odessa and Midland). 

Nancy Dickey, MD, president emeritus of Texas A&M Health Science Center and professor of family and community medicine at Texas A&M College of Medicine who contributed the symposium issue article “Retaining Medical Graduates in Texas,” said, “Texas is committed to ‘growing its own’ physicians to meet the workforce needs of the state’s population. Ongoing attention to creating and protecting a satisfactory environment for the practice of medicine will not only help keep Texas graduates in the state but will also facilitate continued efforts at in-migration.”  

Visit the TMA website to read these articles and more: 

  1. Furthering Medical Education in Texas” by Surendra K. Varma, MD, and John Jennings, MD.

  2. Costs Associated With Residency Training” by Lois L. Bready, MD, and M. Philip Luber, MD.

  3. Experience-Based Lessons From Rural Texas Graduate Medical Education” by Lisa R. Nash, DO; Tricia C. Elliott, MD; and Jorge Duchicela, MD.

  4. The Next Accreditation System: Will Residents Be Better Prepared for Medical Practice?” by Lynne M. Kirk, MD.

  5. The Revolution in Medical Education” by Christina M. Gutierrez; Susan M. Cox, MD; and John L. Dalrymple, MD.

  6. The Family Medicine Accelerated Track at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center” by Betsy Goebel Jones, EdD, and Steven L. Berk, MD.

  7. Retaining Medical Graduates in Texas” by Nancy Dickey, MD.  

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Update Your TMA Online Profile

Have you moved since joining TMA? Take some time to update your contact information in your online membership profile.

Confirm your contact information under the address tab. While you’re at it, click on the Interests tab to tell TMA what interests you have and the Subscriptions tab to select which TMA newsletters come to you.

Questions? Contact the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955, Monday-Friday, 8:15 am-5:15 pm CT, or email knowledge@texmed.org.

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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?  

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

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