Notes From the IMG World

Spring 2017


Join Your Colleagues in Dallas for TexMed 2017

TexMed 2017, Texas Medical Association’s annual meeting, is just around the corner. Join us May 5-6 at the Marriott Marquis Houston and the George R. Brown Convention Center, where you will unite with your colleagues to Renew Your Passion for medicine. Make your hotel reservations by April 13, or until the room block is full.

While at TexMed you can: 

  • Network with colleagues;
  • Help elect new International Medical Graduate (IMG) Section leaders; 
  • Enjoy complimentary breakfast, lunch, and coffee in the EXPO;  
  • Take advantage of 80+ hours of interdisciplinary FREE continuing medical education; and
  • Attend social events, including the Welcome Reception and Presidents’ Reception. 

In Houston you also can help mold TMA policy and business decisions by heading to the House of Delegates and participating in reference committee meetings. All TMA members can testify at the reference committees on resolutions presented before the house.  

And the EXPO provides a great way to see the newest in medical devices, technology, and practice services. Sign up for a free, 15-minute Quick Consult at TMA Member Services booth No. 549 and meet face-to-face with TMA staff experts for answers to specific questions on various topics, or to address your general practice needs. 

TexMed is a free member benefit, but it’s not just for physicians. Your practice manager and front office staff can benefit from attending TexMed 2017, too. Register today, or check out the program for more information.   

 Don’t Miss the IMG Section Meeting at TexMed 2017

The IMG Section promotes leadership development, policy formation, advocacy, and networking. Additionally, the section serves as a statewide communication and policymaking forum for addressing issues of particular interest to international medical graduates.  

Join us at TexMed 2017 for the IMG Section meeting, Saturday, May 6, from noon to 1:30 pm at the Marriott Marquis Houston in the Liberty room, on Level 2. Elections will be held for available IMG Section governing council positions. To learn more or apply, contact Karen Kollar at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1448. A letter of intent and a CV are due by April 15. You can visit the IMG webpage to see the list of available positions.  

TMA Foundation’s 2017 Gala: BLAST OFF! 

3… 2… 1… Blast Off! 

Explore the infinite galaxy along with hundreds of your friends, colleagues, and friends of medicine at BLAST OFF!, the TMA Foundation’s (TMAF’s) 24th annual gala, held during TexMed on Friday, May 5. This annual TexMed social event raises funds needed to support TMA and the family of medicine’s health improvement, science, and quality-of-care programs to create a Healthy Now and a Healthy Future.   

For a successful launch, come equipped with the tool every space explorer needs to win out-of-this-world items in the silent and live auctions through the gala’s mobile bidding website. In addition to these exploratory activities, you’ll enjoy the gala’s predinner reception and live entertainment. See the evening’s complete schedule on the TMA website.  

TMAF Board Member and TMA Past President Michael E. Speer, MD, is the lead Ambassador, accompanied by 20 other Houston physicians serving as BLAST OFF! Ambassadors for an evening amongst the stars at the new Marriott Marquis Houston. 

Order your advance tickets for $210 each, or VIP tickets for $260, on your TexMed registration form; by calling TMAF at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1466, or (512) 370-1466; or on the TMAF website. Ticket prices increase to $225 for general guest tickets and $275 for VIP guest tickets after April 28. 

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Texas Wins Tort Border Battle

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled last month in favor of a Lubbock physician entangled in a question of whether Texas or New Mexico law should apply in a liability case involving care that was provided in Texas but for a New Mexico patient.

The decision is a victory for the Texas Medical Association, Texas physicians, and organized medicine in Texas and New Mexico. Although the specifics of the verdict applied to a Texas physician who was employed by a government institution, TMA’s general counsel opines the ruling should be helpful to all Texas physicians treating patients from New Mexico traveling in Texas. This is because the Texas 2003 medical liability reforms are generally more favorable than those of other states.

The case, Montaño v. Frezza, involved Kimberly Montaño, a New Mexico resident, who sought surgery in 2004 from Eldo Frezza, MD, a Lubbock bariatric surgeon and professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The issue was over which state’s medical liability laws would prevail in a case in which a New Mexico resident received care in Texas but claimed complications after returning to New Mexico. For additional details on the case, see “Border Battle,” from the November 2015 issue of Texas Medicine.

Dr. Frezza told TMA he was exhausted by the fight but elated by the ruling. 

“The lawyers have to understand how their activity is affecting patients, not just physicians,” he said. “This lawsuit was affecting tons of patients in eastern New Mexico. A lot of good people, working people, people who pay taxes are affected by the blindness of our society.”

Howard Marcus, MD, chair of the Texas Alliance for Patient Access (TAPA), which was one of several Texas groups that filed briefs in the case, also hailed the decision.

“Yet again, TAPA, working with its member organizations, such as the TMA and county medical societies, has prevailed in a crucial decision that promotes access to care across the Texas-New Mexico state line,” Dr. Marcus said. “Common sense and logic have prevailed.”

The Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT), The University of Texas System, and the New Mexico Medical Society also filed briefs in support of Dr. Frezza’s position.

The 4-1 decision “only considered the issue of comity ― that is, respecting the sovereignty of sister states,” said Jill McClain, TMLT executive vice president for government relations. The court’s analysis of that issue focused heavily on data that TAPA, TMA, TMLT, the American Medical Association, several county medical societies, and others provided showing how much residents of eastern New Mexico depend on West Texas physicians and hospitals for care.

“Access to cross-border health care for individuals living in rural parts of New Mexico is an additional consideration that tempers New Mexico’s interest in applying its law to this case,” the court majority wrote. “We do not consider it overly speculative to conclude that extending comity to Texas in this case will positively serve New Mexico’s public policy interests by encouraging the continuing cooperation of Texas and New Mexico in maintaining cross-border care networks.”

Although the court ruled in favor of Dr. Frezza in this instance, TMA suggests physicians continue to avail themselves of the law New Mexico enacted last year allowing them to obtain a signed agreement from New Mexico patients stating that should they wish to file a lawsuit they will do so in Texas courts. To help physicians take advantage of the law’s protections, TAPA developed two forms, one for emergency treatment and one for voluntary treatment. You can download the emergency treatment and voluntary treatment forms (English or Spanish-and-English) from the TMA website. 

In consultation with an attorney, TMA suggests physicians who treat New Mexico patients or patients living in other states consider adopting this language in the practice forms patients sign.  

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 Update Your TMA Online Profile So Referring Colleagues Can Find You 

When prospective patients and referring colleagues visit TMA’s online Find a Physician directory (the most frequently visited page on the TMA website) or the DocbookMD mobile app — will they be able to find you? 

“Take a few moments to check the data in your online membership profile and make any corrections needed,” said Steven L. Cole, DO, chair of the TMA Committee on Membership. “Be sure to confirm your contact information under the Address tab. 

“While you’re at it, click on the Interests tab to tell us exactly which professional topics you need to know the most about,” Dr. Cole continued. “Thanks in advance for helping us keep our membership lists accurate and for helping us use your membership dollars for purposes more worthwhile than shuffling paper.”

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

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It’s Easy to Support Your Favorite Programs All Year

The TMA Foundation makes it convenient for you to support your favorite community outreach programs by setting the amount and time of your recurring donation. By scheduling a gift using the credit card of your choice, you become a TMAF Pulse Donor. TMAF will send you a yearly statement, which is handy since the foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of federal law. 

Your recurring gifts enable TMA’s award-winning programs to reach more Texans, young and old, providing them with the tools they need to lead healthier lives. Your gift is combined with thousands of others to fund health improvement, science, and quality-of-care initiatives that create a Healthy Now and a Healthy Future, such as Be Wise — ImmunizeSM, Hard Hats for Little Heads, and Walk With a Doc Texas, and more.  

For details or to become a Pulse Donor, call TMAF at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1466, email TMAF, or visit

Be Wise — Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association. 

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 Are You Getting the Most From Your TMA Membership?

Check TMA’s return on investment calculator to see what other benefits and services you can tap into.  

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Deadlines for Doctors

TMA’s Deadlines for Doctors alerts you and your staff to upcoming state and federal compliance timelines and offers information on key health policy issues that impact your practice. 

May 15, 2017
Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Attestation Deadline for 2016 Participation

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TMA Education Center

The TMA Education Center offers convenient, one-stop access to the continuing medical education Texas physicians need. TMA’s practice management, cancer, and physician health courses are now easier than ever to find online.  

Take Back the Power: Payer Contract Negotiations
Through June 22

The Best Front Desk: Transforming Customer Service
April 11-May 25

On-Demand Webinars
Innovation in Education for Cardiovascular Risk Patients: Heart Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

Making Discussions About Death and Dying Easier

HIPAA Training for Medical Office Staff

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Connect With TMA on Social Media 

Are you keeping up with TMA on social media? 

TMA is very active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We also have a robust YouTube channel with hundreds of videos by and about TMA. These pages help us communicate with our more than 49,000 members and keep you informed about news, events, member benefits, and our advocacy efforts.   

We hope you will follow, like, tweet, and engage with us. We’d also like to hear from you! If you have any social media questions or suggestions, contact Jen Rios in the TMA Communication Division at   

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