Attend the AAFP’s Emergency and Urgent Care live course from your home or join your peers in San Antonio, Texas, October 9-12.
Know the latest treatment options in emergency and urgent care settings, gain
hands-on skills, and recognize when to treat and when to refer. At the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Prepare treatment plans for patients who present to emergency departments and/or urgent care clinics.
- Evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with acute health needs affecting any number of body systems, including cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, maternity, psychological, or musculoskeletal conditions.
- Incorporate emergency plans into practice, including written protocols and necessary equipment/tools for treatment.
By Travis Bias, DO, MPH
A culture of patient safety built over the past 20 years is encountering roadblocks. Policies and recent events that defy both research and initiatives geared towards strengthening health care safety, whether intentional or not, must be highlighted to ensure we continue to move the ball in the right direction.
Recently a New York Times story highlighted the “culture of secrecy” that protects hospitals from disclosing their name when an outbreak of a drug-resistant bug occurs within their walls. Defenders of the policy argue this encourages hospitals to promptly report these outbreaks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention without fear of negative publicity.more
Mergers, acquisitions, and the family physician — where do we fit in?
By Rebecca Hart, MD
Recently I have been hearing a lot of angst from colleagues about all the impending mergers of large retail corporations, insurance companies, and pharmacies starting up primary care clinics complete with urgent care, lab, imaging, and other amenities. My colleagues are gnashing their teeth wondering if they’ll be forced out of business by yet another corporate takeover. First the hospitals, now this.
The CVS/Aetna partnership brings us HealthHUBs in CVS stores, a health care “destination” with nurse practitioners at the helm and a “care concierge” to direct the patient to CVS services. They are associated with physicians only as reviewers of the NPs, because this is required by Texas law. They are not even on the payroll, but act as consultants — a very distant role. These physicians are not involved in directing the company or directing the primary care at all.more
With the increase in immigrants seeking asylum along the southern border, physicians and charitable organizations are struggling to provide needed care, supplies, and shelter to migrants in their communities. A recent article in Kaiser Health News describes the situation this way:
“In the absence of a coordinated federal response, nonprofit organizations across the 1,900-mile stretch have stepped in to provide food, shelter and medical care. Border cities like El Paso, San Diego and McAllen, Texas, are used to relying on local charities for some level of migrant care. But not in the massive numbers and sustained duration they’re seeing now. As the months drag on, the work is taking a financial and emotional toll. Nonprofit operators are drawing on donations, financial reserves and the generosity of medical volunteers to meet demand. Some worry this “new normal” is simply not sustainable.”
Many members along the border are working with local charities to provide care and services and we know many more members would like to help. Here are some organizations and opportunities to contact if you are interested. If you are working with other organizations or know of other opportunities, please email Jonathan Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2019 CFW Resident and Student Track drew family medicine students and residents from all over the state. Participants received a warm welcome from TAFP President, Rebecca Hart, MD, learned how to break bad news to patients, explored physician employment contracts, got an in-depth look into the 86th Legislative Session from CEO/EVP of TAFP, Tom Banning, and much more.
In addition to lively discussions and presentations, the Section on Resident Physicians and the Section on Medical Students held elections for various officer positions. Officer candidates had the chance to talk to their colleagues about their professional passions and how they would represent resident and student TAFP members within the Academy. The following are the 2019-2020 resident and student officers.
Section on Resident Physicians
By Jonathan Nelson
Last week two TAFP members testified before the House Higher Education Committee, asking for support for House Bill 2261 by Rep. Armando Walle, D-Houston, and Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler. The bill would increase the maximum payout of the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program from $160,000 to $180,000 for physicians who agree to practice for four years in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area. The bill has a companion in the Senate, SB 998 by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen.
In 2009, the Texas Legislature greatly enhanced the existing Physician Education Loan Repayment Program by changing the way smokeless tobacco is taxed and designating part of the difference to physician loan assistance. That allowed physicians to receive up to $160,000 to pay off their educational debt in return for four years of service, and that’s a deal many physicians have been eager to make. In the past five years, the program has enrolled well over 750 physicians who are now caring for patients in rural communities, urban centers, community health centers, and correctional facilities – all places where Texans suffer a lack of access to care.more
By Jonathan Nelson
TAFP’s new strategic plan focuses on helping members care for patients
Last fall, the TAFP Board of Directors approved a new strategic plan for the Academy designed to strengthen the organization and ensure it works to help members do what they do best: take care of their patients and their communities. The plan is the culmination of a yearlong process led by TAFP’s elected leaders and a select group of other leaders. It will help guide Academy actions and endeavors for the next three to five years.more
By Larry Kravitz, MD
I had a retirement role model once. A secret role model, who didn’t retire. In the moment, I never told him of my admiration. I was just passing through his clinic, 40 years ago, and never knew how long his impact would remain within me.
As a fourth-year medical student at George Washington University, I had signed up for a tropical medicine elective at the Gorgas Institute in Panama, one of the top infectious disease research institutes in the Western Hemisphere. Gorgas was created in 1921, named for Dr. William Crawford Gorgas, who eradicated yellow fever in Panama, thus facilitating the construction of the Panama Canal. Interspersed with the daily lectures, we rounded in the hospitals and saw florid cases of tetanus, measles, and typhoid. We went on field trips including visiting a leper colony, a living museum of medical history.more
Strong family physicians, strong medicine, strong patients
An excerpt from the inaugural speech of the new TAFP President
By Rebecca Hart, MD
I am so humbled, joyful and happy to begin work as your new president. Thank you for electing me and giving me this opportunity to serve you. I hope you join me this year in working harder than ever to keep our profession strong, our physicians inspired, and our workforce increasing.
When I began my career as a resident in Family Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine Residency Program in 1988, I was naïve. I knew nothing of the big issues that would face me in my future as a family physician. I knew nothing of CMS, preauthorization, payment reform, physician shortages, mid-levels, MACRA, EHRs, quality incentive programs, or Medicare Advantage plans. Heck, most of these things didn’t even exist back then! I knew only that I loved every rotation back in medical school, so family medicine was right for me. I wanted to be a full-scope family doctor, deliver babies, and work in a small town in Texas to make a difference in people’s lives.more
By Jonathan Nelson
In yet another week of important committee meetings at the State Capitol, two family physicians provided testimony on some of TAFP’s top legislative priorities for the 86th Texas Legislature. On Monday, February 11, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II convened to hear testimony from agencies and the public. Article II of the state budget contains funding for all agencies and programs that fall under Texas Health and Human Services, including Medicaid, CHIP, Healthy Texas Women, the Family Planning Program, services for the aging and those with disabilities, and much more.
TMA President and former TAFP President Doug Curran, MD, of Athens, told the committee that while Texas is indeed booming with a strong economy and lots of opportunity, many of the state’s health care statistics rank well below the national average.more