It's Academic

June 2016 

U.S. Medical School Enrollment Up by 25 Percent Since 2002

U.S. medical school enrollment has increased by 25 percent since 2002, representing an additional 4,143 new students, according to the results of the annual Medical School Enrollment Survey by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

“Our nation’s medical schools have stepped up to meet the challenge the AAMC put before them in 2006,” said AAMC President and Chief Executive Officer Darrell G. Kirch, MD. “They understand the integral role they play in meeting the future health workforce needs of this country, which according to our latest data, will now require up to an additional 94,700 physicians by 2025.”

The report projects first-year U.S. medical school enrollment will reach 21,434 students by 2017-18, a 30-percent increase over the 2002 baseline enrollment level. Since 2002, 20 additional medical schools have been established, accounting for 37 percent of the overall estimated growth by 2020-21. In addition, seven new schools are currently awaiting accreditation and could increase that percentage. Nationally, schools in the southern United States would account for 42 percent of the growth in medical school enrollment by the end of the decade.

According to the report, medical schools nationwide are actively responding to pressing community health needs through a variety of initiatives. In 2015, 84 percent of schools reported they had or planned to have within the next two years specific admission programs or policies dedicated to recruiting a diverse student body interested in caring for underserved populations. Nearly 80 percent of schools have established or plan to establish programs or policies for minority groups currently underrepresented in medicine. Sixty-seven percent have efforts geared toward increasing the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and 49 percent have efforts targeted at students from rural communities.

One of U.S. medical school deans’ top concerns, according to the report, is the availability of training positions or sites for their students. Fifty percent reported concerns about their own incoming students’ ability to find residency positions, and 85 percent expressed concern about the number of clinical sites for students’ clerkships.

At the same time that U.S. medical degree-granting schools are expanding to address physician shortages, colleges of osteopathic medicine are also experiencing unprecedented growth, according to the report. When combining first-year enrollment for all schools, the report projects the total student body will reach 30,186 students by 2020 — a 55 percent increase over the 2002 level.

“This growth is naturally going to put a strain on limited clinical resources and residency positions, which is a problem not only for the nation’s future doctors but for the nation’s future patients,” Dr. Kirch said. “Congress can’t afford to delay any longer. They must act now to ensure that patients will have access to the care they need when they need it.”

Texas experienced a 36-percent increase in first-year medical school enrollments (from 1,342 to 1,821) from 2002 to 2015. The 2009 opening of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso as part of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center contributed to that growth. Enrollments will continue to increase in the state with four additional medical schools in development and two more under consideration. 

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TMA Gives Minority Medical Student Scholarships

Eleven minority students entering Texas medical schools this fall each will receive a $10,000 scholarship from TMA. Students received the scholarships in Dallas at TexMed 2016 for their academic achievement, commitment to community service, and desire to care for Texas' increasingly diverse population.  

TMA created the Minority Scholarship Program in 1998 to help diversify the physician workforce to meet the health care needs of Texans and fill the void in minority scholarships at Texas medical schools as a result of the 1996 Hopwood Ruling. TMA doubled the size of the minority scholarships this year from $5,000 to $10,000, thanks to a new donor-established trust fund at the TMA Foundation (TMAF), which funds the program.

The TMA Educational Scholarship, Loan, and Awards Committee chose one recipient for each Texas medical school from a competitive field of promising future physicians. 

The scholarship encourages minority students to attend medical school by reducing the financial burden of their education, which averages more than $175,000. TMA has awarded 112 scholarships totaling $615,000 since the program’s inception, thanks to generous gifts from TMAF donor physicians and their families, major supporters, and others.

2016 TMA Minority Scholarship Winners

Bianca Arechiga of San Antonio graduated from Baylor University in Waco and will attend Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. She plans to specialize in primary care to later practice in rural Texas. Ms. Arechiga’s scholarship is provided by the TMAF trust fund of Dr. Roberto J. and Agniela (Annie) M. Bayardo of Houston; Tarrant County Medical Society (CMS); and the Khushalani Foundation in Humble.

Amanda Arreola, of Dallas, is a Baylor University graduate. She will study family medicine or pediatrics after completing work at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine Ms. Arreola plans to practice in a rural area near El Paso. Dr. Roberto and Mrs. Agniela Bayardo and Hidalgo-Starr CMS funded her scholarship. 

David Samuel Chapman of Cedar Hill graduated from UT-Arlington. He will attend Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine with plans to become a family physician. After graduation, Mr. Chapman plans to practice in an underserved area of Dallas/Fort Worth. His scholarship is made possible by Dr. Roberto and Mrs. Agniela Bayardo; the TMAF Patrick Y. Leung, MD, Minority Scholarship Endowment, established by Dr. Patrick and Mrs. Nancy Leung of Midland; Dr. Jim and Mrs. Charli Rohack of Galveston; and McLennan CMS.

Esteban Esquivel Jr. of Bruni is a graduate of UT Austin. He hopes to specialize in pediatrics or internal medicine after earning his medical degree at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine in Lubbock. He plans to practice in a rural community in South Texas. His scholarship is made possible through contributions from Dr. Roberto and Mrs. Agniela Bayardo; Nueces CMS; and Andre and Sukie Desire of Wichita Falls, in memory of Robert Horth. 

 Laura Moore of El Paso graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio in May. She plans to become a pediatric oncologist and will study at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Her scholarship is made possible by H-E-B. 

Monika Pyarali of Austin is a UT-Austin graduate who will attend Baylor College of Medicine with plans to specialize in psychiatry or neurology. She expects to practice in an underserved area within a large urban area, such as Dallas/Fort Worth. Ms. Pyarali’s scholarship is funded by Dr. Roberto and Mrs. Agniela Bayardo; C. Enrique Batres, MD, of Sugar Land; Gregory R. Johnson, MD, of Houston; and Harris CMS/Houston Academy of Medicine.

Diana Rascon of San Antonio graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos. She will attend UT School of Medicine in San Antonio with plans become a surgeon. Dr. Roberto and Mrs. Agniela Bayardo; Drs. Rajam and Somayaji Ramamurthy of San Antonio; and Jaime D. Sandoval, MD, of Corpus Christi, underwrote her scholarship.

Oswaldo Renteria of Balch Springs graduated from UT-Austin. He will study at UT-Southwestern Medical School and plans to practice primary care in an underserved urban area. Dr. Roberto and Mrs. Agniela Bayardo, Dallas CMS, and Charles B. Mullins, MD, of Austin, provided his scholarship. 

Juan Resendez of Laredo is a UT-Austin graduate who will attend UT-Austin Dell Medical School. He plans to practice obstetrics/gynecology or another primary care specialty in South Texas. Dr. Roberto and Mrs. Agniela Bayardo and Travis CMS provided his scholarship. 

Stephanie Trujillo-Molina of El Paso graduated from UT-El Paso. She will study at TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine and plans to practice family medicine in her hometown after medical school. Ms. Trujillo-Molina’s scholarship is made possible by Dr. Roberto and Mrs. Agniela Bayardo and El Paso CMS. 

Carlos Vargas of Edinburg is a graduate of UTRGV. He will attend The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine in Galveston and hopes to become a family physician in the Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Roberto and Mrs. Agniela Bayardo; Baldemar Covarrubias, MD, of Corpus Christi; Drs. Mary Dale Peterson and Rafael Coutin of Corpus Christi, in honor of James Arens, MD, of Brenham; and Mark J. Kubala, MD, of Beaumont, provided donations for his scholarship.

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TMA Physicians Honor Outstanding Science Teachers

TMA named six Texas science teachers as winners of the 2016 TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching. TMA awarded three first-place prizes at TexMed 2016 in Dallas. Three second-place awards will be presented in upcoming local ceremonies.  

TMA recognizes elementary, middle school, and high school teachers for the awards. These educators help create tomorrow’s physicians by inspiring students in the many fields of science. 

First-Place Winners
Lauren Paquette of Hobby Elementary School in Houston, Nancy Brown of Charles Baxter Junior High School in Everman, and Kenric Davies of Sherman High School in Sherman are this year’s elementary, middle, and high school first-place winners. TMA awards each top recipient a $5,000 cash prize, and each winner’s school receives a $2,000 resource grant toward its science programs.   

Second-Place Winners
Second-place winners are Marisol Rodriguez of Achziger Elementary School in Mesquite, Chelsea Atwell of Austin Academy for Excellence in Garland, and Finny Philip of Berkner High School in Richardson. Second-place winners’ schools each receive a $1,000 resource grant to enhance science classroom learning. 

The 2016 TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching are made possible with a grant from the TMA Foundation, supported through an endowment generously established by Dr. and Mrs. Ernest C. Butler and gifts from physicians and their families. Outstanding educators in science have been recognized by TMA each year since 1990.   

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 AAMC Addresses Teaching Future Doctors to Navigate Tough Ethical Questions

In an April 2016 AAMC Reporter article, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) examines the everyday decisions physicians make “that have an ethical or moral component” and how to train tomorrow’s physicians to navigate the tough ethical questions that lie ahead. The article includes information on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s ethics curriculum and the interprofessional approach to ethics some hospitals are taking.  

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AAMC Examines Interprofessional Learning

An article titled “Innovations in Medical Education: Interprofessional Learning Prepares Students for Team-Based Practice,” is part of an ongoing series in which the AAMC Reporter explores how medical schools and teaching hospitals are educating the next generation of physicians in an environment of discovery and innovation. The article discusses the emergence of interprofessional education (IPE) curricula to prepare students for team-based practice at medical and health professions schools across the nation. To learn more about IPE competencies, visit www.ipecollaborative.org

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 AMA Discusses Need for Fellowships and Guidelines for Success

A May 5 AMA Wire article cites a research report in the journal Academic Medicine that finds “medical education fellowships cultivate leaders and communities of trained educators.” Researchers say “the need for rigorous training is especially important amid innovations in teaching methods and training curriculum.” 

According to the American Medical Association article, program directors told researchers they envision graduates:   

  • Assuming leadership roles,
  • Pursuing academic careers,
  • Producing scholarship, and
  • Achieving national prominence in their fields.   

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 AMA Looks at How Med Schools Are Paving a New Path to Residency

In conjunction with the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, several U.S. medical schools are transforming students’ transition to graduate medical education, according to a May 19 AMA Wire article. AMA says the consortium modernizes and reshapes the way physicians are trained. The article profiles four medical schools and highlights what their programs are doing to “improve competency, leadership and patient care through innovations that bridge the curriculum gap between medical school and internship.” 

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This Month in Texas Medicine

The June issue of Texas Medicine features a cover story on New Mexico’s House Bill 270, which gives Texas doctors a new tool to keep their Texas tort reform protections when treating patients from New Mexico. In the issue you’ll also find information on Medicare paying physicians for conducting end-of-life care planning with patients; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs roadblocks that leave veterans on long waiting lists to get care; organized medicine’s efforts to curb or eliminate coal-fired power plant emissions; the results of a study on resident duty hours; and the growing popularity of concierge medicine.

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