Newly Licensed Physicians Hit Another All-Time High in Texas
By Sean Price

Newly Licensed TX physicians_2021

Texas has done an excellent job of attracting new physicians over the past two decades, with recent data showing physician growth outstrips population growth. 

The unique practice conditions created by COVID-19 generated doubt about whether that growth could be sustained, says Marcia Collins, the Texas Medical Association’s associate vice president for medical education. But the latest information compiled by TMA shows that positive trend continues.

The Lone Star State licensed 5,304 new physicians in fiscal year 2021, which ended Aug. 31, according to data from the Texas Medical Board. That is an increase of 442 over the previous fiscal year and a record number for the state. For comparison, 14 states have fewer than 5,000 physicians total, Ms. Collins says.

More importantly, growth in Texas’ physician workforce continues to outpace the state’s rapid population growth. Over the last decade, physicians in all specialties grew at 2.2 times the rate of Texas’ population growth, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. In all, Texas has issued 68,457 new licenses since 2003.

Meanwhile, the number of physician license applications in fiscal year 2021 hit 7,010, up 722 – or 11.5% – from fiscal year 2020, according to the TMB data.

TX license apps_2021

Earlier this year, the Texas Legislature passed a law that allows Texas to join 29 other states in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. This allows physicians who are licensed in another state who meet certain requirements to obtain a medical license in Texas. That’s expected to further increase the number of new Texas physicians, Ms. Collins says.

Also, Texas issued 813 emergency medical licenses during fiscal year 2021, according to TMB data. Of these, 41% were physicians associated with a telemedicine company.

Last Updated On

September 21, 2021

Originally Published On

September 21, 2021

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Sean Price

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(512) 370-1392

Sean Price is a reporter for Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. He grew up in Fort Worth and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. He's worked as an award-winning writer and editor for a variety of national magazine, book, and website publishers in New York and Washington. He's also helped produce Texas-based marketing campaigns designed to promote public health. Sean lives in Austin and enjoys hiking, photography, and spending time with his wife and two sons.

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