TAFP Blog

  • Utilize TAFP resource for mental health support from home

    Tags: Anticipate Joy, mental health, physician burnout

    By Anticipate Joy

    It’s 2022 and sad to say the stigma surrounding seeking mental health services is still alive and well. Despite well-intended efforts to reduce the stigma, many people continue to see mental health issues as a sign of weakness, leaving those who suffer from mental illness feeling alone in their struggle. However, if mental health is a concern for you, you are far from alone. In 2019, 20.6% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness, representing 51.5 million people or one in five adults. 5.2% of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness, representing 13.1 million people or one in 20 adults. Mental illness is more common than you might believe, demonstrating that you are not the only one struggling.

    Of particular concern, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, early evidence suggests the rate of depression in physicians across age groups is 25%. A study evaluating barriers to treatment for physicians found that 70% of physicians with moderate to severe depression reported “getting an appointment that fits my schedule” as a major barrier to mental health treatment.

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  • Attention students: Attend AAFP’s National Conference in July

    Tags: national conference, resident, student, funding

    Once a year, family medicine residents and medical students come together to engage in real talk about family medicine with family medicine leaders, educators, and recruiters at the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students, held July 28 – 30 in Kansas City, Missouri. This year’s conference will inspire attendees to choose a dynamic career in family medicine — one that literally can take you anywhere. Attendees will hear from nationally recognized speakers.

    National Conference also offers:

    • An Expo Hall with 400 exhibitors including residency programs, physician employers, medical missions, fellowships, government agencies, and more.
    • Workshops on topics such as career planning, health policy and advocacy, leadership and development, and research.
    • The ability to influence AAFP policy and develop leadership skills in the student and resident congresses.
    • Enhance your clinical skills, such as providing trauma-informed care, understanding reproductive and maternal care in family medicine, learning procedures, and more.

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  • New events at this year’s C. Frank Webber Lectureship and Interim Session

    Tags: c. frank webber lectureship, cfw

    By Samantha White

    If you haven’t yet registered for the upcoming TAFP C. Frank Webber Lectureship and Interim Session happening April 8 – 9 in Austin, there’s no time like the present! In addition to the incredible 16.25 CME credits offered Friday and Saturday and our standard council meetings happening Friday morning, we have a series of exciting firsts for TAFP on Saturday.

    Our first Member Assembly at Interim Session will take place at breakfast and include a great discussion on trends in health care from author Peter Valenzuela, MD, MBA. Attendees will receive a copy of his new, insightful book Doc-Related.

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  • Texas House Speaker appoints House Select Committee on Health Care Reform

    Tags: 87th Texas Legislature, interim studies, health care reform

    By Jonathan Nelson

    Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan announced interim committee charges for the 87th Legislature on March 10 including several items of interest to family physicians and their patients. The speaker also announced the creation of two special interim committees, one on health care reform and the other on criminal justice reform.

    “The interim charges are the result of my conversations with House colleagues from across the state, many of whom have concluded there is more work to be done to reform the state's health care and criminal justice systems,” Speaker Phelan said in a press release. “That’s why I have formed two interim committees to devote special attention to these issues, which I consider of utmost importance heading into the next legislative session.”

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  • MEMBER VOICES: The future of family medicine

    Tags: future of family medicine, kravitz, population health, translational care

    By Larry Kravitz, MD, and Lily Cormier

    Such high hopes when it all began in 1970, with a new specialty that renamed itself and decided to take primary care seriously. Family medicine is now more than 50 years old, with 133,000 physicians in the United States. Where will it all be 50 years from now?

    There is an old African proverb, “Until the lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter.” We see our medical past in terms of our victories, but we minimize our failures. So we do as well with the future; we expect to build on our successes, and don’t understand that our failures tag along and can poison the wellspring of our dreams. As long as we keep applying the template of our distorted past to our expectations of the future, we will never see it coming. The future threatens to run over us from behind as we’re squinting our gaze to a glorious distant horizon. The future is all around us right now, but it is clouded by the rose-colored lenses we insist on wearing. We don’t need a false prophet nor do we need a harbinger of doom, but there are two conflicting futures ahead and we need to embrace them both.

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  • It's OK to ask for a little help from your friends

    Tags: Anticipate Joy, mental health, physician burnout

    By Anticipate Joy

    Do you ever find yourself feeling alone in dealing with various personal and professional life stressors? As a result, do you find yourself turning inward and isolating? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that social isolation is associated with about a 50% increased risk for dementia and other serious medical issues.

    It’s important to keep in mind, not only is loneliness a high-risk factor for depression, but it is also a risk factor for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and arthritis.

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  • The future of family medicine and primary care ain’t what it used to be

    Tags: value-based, payment, fee-for-service, practice profile survey

    Fast moving market changes pose challenges and opportunities for family doctors in every sector

    By Tom Banning, TAFP CEO

    I love a good Yogi Berra quote to start off a column and few have ever been as appropriate as this one is for family physicians today: The future ain’t what it used to be.

    Changes in the health care marketplace here in Texas and across the country pose significant challenges and opportunities for our members, whether they practice in rural or metropolitan communities, regardless of where they fall on the broad spectrum of practice types. I believe addressing these changes is among the most pressing issues we face as an Academy.

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  • TAFP Past President Glen Johnson dies

    Tags: glen johnson, obituary

    By Samantha White

    TAFP Past President Glen Royce Johnson, MD, passed away February 20, 2022, at his home in Pinecrest, Florida.

    After completing medical school and residency at Howard University, Johnson joined AAFP in 1976 and quickly rose the ranks in both AAFP and TAFP. He served as a TAFP alternate delegate then delegate to AAFP’s Congress of Delegates in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and became the first Black physician to serve as TAFP president in 1986. Johnson was a director on the AAFP Board of Directors, then AAFP vice president in the early and mid 1990s, and eventually served as AAFP’s alternate delegate then delegate to the American Medical Association in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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  • TMA fund supports medical families in crisis

    Tags: tma, texas medical association

    TMA fund supports medical families in crisis

    By Tammy Wishard

    A dedicated physician finds himself struggling with dementia in his later years, with his wife by his side caring for him. To provide needed income, the Johnsons (not their real name) sell their home and relocate to their smaller vacation residence in another part of the state, leaving behind lifelong friends.

    Funds dwindle as the couple makes needed accessibility updates to the home and pays for health insurance. As the days and months pass, and with no support from family, the wife begins to wear down from her role as caretaker. She needs a break. Mrs. Johnson reaches out to TMA’s Physicians Benevolent Fund (PBF) for assistance, and PBF fills the need, providing funding for respite care so she can have a few hours each week to tend to her needs.

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  • Putting mental health tools in the hands of primary care physicians

    Tags: Waco guide, psychopharmacology, mental health, clinical tools

    Access psychopharmacology clinical support with The Waco Guide

    By Zach Sartor, MD

    We are living amid a mental health epidemic. One in five people experience mental illness yearly, and the volume of mental and behavioral health disorders will increase in the future due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Primary care is the de facto mental health system in the United States. Primary care clinicians serve most patients receiving treatment for mental illness, prescribing a majority of psychotropic medications in the process. However, two-thirds of family medicine physicians cannot connect their patients with essential mental health support services. Therefore, most behavioral health care services occur in the primary care office. Although the situation is dire, this challenge represents an opportunity to provide high-value mental health care in the primary care context. Family medicine can lead the way forward.

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