How the Physicians Benevolent Fund Saved These Doctors’ Families
By Tammy Wishard

After he became disabled in an automobile accident, a Texas physician and his wife quickly ran through the funds awarded in a legal settlement for his ongoing medical bills. 

Struggling with finances because the physician could no longer practice medicine, the family, whom we’ll call the Delaneys (they wished to remain anonymous), reached out to the Texas Medical Association’s Physicians Benevolent Fund (PBF). The couple qualified and were approved for assistance, easing their financial uncertainties. After Dr. Delaney died a few years later, PBF continued to help Mrs. Delaney make ends meet.

This story is one of many from PBF’s 61-year history, such as a widow left to support herself and her young children, a physician who became disabled and unable to practice as a result of a stroke, and a physician’s spouse left with tremendous debt after her husband’s death.

PBF fills the gap for physicians and their immediate families when they find themselves in desperate financial crisis and unable to meet their day-to-day needs. Recipients receive monthly help to pay for personal necessities – rent or mortgage, utilities, health insurance, medical bills, clothing, and food.

A common thread among fund recipients is one of gratitude – to PBF, to donors, and to TMA. Many express how the funds helped them survive a difficult period in their lives and how they wouldn’t have had anywhere else to turn.

“When our friends and colleagues are suffering, sometimes we struggle to know how to help in a meaningful way,” said Nancy Thorne Foster, MD, chair of the PBF Committee. “PBF is here to help move someone from hopelessness to healing.”

If you know a physician or a physician’s family who could benefit, please direct them to the PBF website for qualification details and the confidential questionnaire. Or contact Chris Johnson, PBF director. TMA strives to protect the anonymity of fund recipients.

If you’d like to help sustain the funds to support physicians in need, contribute via secure, online donation, or send a check to The Physicians Benevolent Fund, Attn: TMA Finance Department, 401 W. 15th St., Austin, TX 78701-1680. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law and may be in the form of honoraria or memorials.

Last Updated On

February 28, 2022

Originally Published On

February 28, 2022

Related Content

Physicians Benevolent Fund

Tammy Wishard

Account Manager, Division of Communications and Marketing

(512) 370-1470
Tammy Wishard

Tammy Wishard is an account manager in TMA’s Marketing Department. She works with TMA’s Office of Trust Fund Administration and other departments to help communicate the broad range of services and resources TMA offers its members. She has a 25-plus-year history with TMA, where she started as a writer/editor. Tammy, a proud Iowa native, is a graduate of Abilene Christian University.

More stories by Tammy Wishard