Just as they do every time the Texas Legislature meets, allied health practitioners are trying to convince lawmakers they can do what physicians do – without having to go to medical school first.
In the opening weeks of the 2019 legislative session, the advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are out of the gate first, asking for full practice authority. (The optometrists, physical therapists, psychologists, and even the naturopaths aren’t far behind.) But if we act now, before the APRNs’ first bill is filed, we can slow this dangerous train down – or even stop it.
Texas Medical Association President Doug Curran, MD, urges you to contact your state lawmakers today through the new TMA Grassroots Action Center. Let them know you support physician-led, team-based care. Tell them how much you learned in your years of medical school, residency, and beyond. Tell them why APRNs are NOT the answer to Texas’ physician shortage. Ask them to say “No” to the APRNs and to help the Texas Medical Association stop them.
Texas needs more physicians and other health care professionals in all parts of the state, especially in inner-city, rural, and border Texas. But the real gains in improving access to cost-effective patient care will come from solidifying and expanding the use of physician-led teams. Team-based care capitalizes on having the right professional providing the right services to the right patient at the right time – with overall direction and coordination in the hands of physicians.
TMA says “Yes” to team-based care. We say “No” to nonphysician practitioners who want to expand their legal scope of practice beyond what their education, training, and skills safely allow.
The new TMA Grassroots Action Center allows you to quickly and easily share that message with your state senator and representative simply by entering your name and address. You also can find lawmaker contact information on the Texas Capitol website.
Please call or write today. The nurses have been busy drumming up support for their plan by dramatically downplaying the differences in physicians’ education, skills, and training. Working together, physicians from all specialties can stop this bad idea before it gets any traction.
Remember, we strongly support team-based care, but if you want to practice medicine, go to medical school.