TAFP Blog

  • Is it anxiety or does Kevin have COVID-19?

    Tags: Texas Children Mental Health Care Consortium, laurel williams, CPAN

    By Laurel L. Williams, DO
    Medical Director, Centralized Operational Support Hub
    Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium

    Clinical vignette: It’s 3 p.m. on a busy Thursday. Kevin and his mother zoom into your office for the third time in six weeks. Today’s chief complaint is stomach pain and mild diarrhea. Kevin is 9 years old and has had some stomach issues in the past. Mom has been reading up on COVID-19 and heard that children more often present with stomach versus respiratory symptoms. The history does not really fit COVID-19 and you are starting to wonder about anxiety. But how to talk with mom without looking like you are brushing off the COVID concern? You wish you had a child psychiatrist on speed dial.

    What’s faster than a pizza delivery and better for your physical and emotional well-being? The new state-funded Child Psychiatry Access Network at (888) 901-2726.

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  • TAFP resident and student members elect their 2020-2021 officers

    The 2020 CFW Resident and Student Track was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Section on Resident Physicians and Section on Medical Students still held virtual elections for various officer positions. The following are the 2020-2021 resident and student officers.


    Section on Resident Physicians

    Chair

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  • Attend webinar on early detection of cognitive impairment by the Alzheimer’s Association, UNTHSC, and TAFP, and earn free CME

    By Scott Finley
    Manager of Media Engagement, Texas Alzheimer's Association

    The Alzheimer’s Association in partnership with the TAFP and the University of North Texas Health Science Center is presenting a live CME event on Wednesday, June 17 from 6 to 7 p.m. The event is titled “Family Physicians and Early Detection of Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease.”

    Dr. Mary Quiceno will be our speaker in the webinar. Dr. Quiceno is a board-certified neurologist affiliated with William P. Clements University Hospital and University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, where she is the Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic. She has held steering committee positions on national consortia, and she has served as investigator for the Alzheimer’s Neuroimaging Research Initiative/ADNI and the Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortia/TARCC. She is appointed to the Texas Council on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders. At the Alzheimer’s Association, she is vice chair of the Medical and Scientific Research Committee for the Dallas and Northeast Texas Chapter.

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  • TAFP urges Congress to make visas available for IMGs to help with physician shortage

    Tags: Healthcare workforce resilience act, IMG, J-1, visas

    By Jean Klewitz

    TAFP sent letters to Texas congressional lawmakers in support of legislation introduced to the House and Senate that has the potential to add 15,000 physicians to the pandemic-strained physician workforce. The letters were signed by TAFP President Javier Margo Jr., MD.

    Earlier this month, AAFP put out the call for state chapters to join in the academy’s efforts to advocate for this legislation. The letters from TAFP went to Texas congressional lawmakers in the House and Senate regarding the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, H.R. 6788 and S. 3599. “This legislation is a good, incremental, step to address an immediate need presented by the COVID-19 pandemic," the letter said.

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  • Alzheimer’s Association is partnering with TAFP to provide resources

    Tags: Alzheimer's Association, partnership, resources, Laura McEntire, Elise Passy, Dementia

    By Scott Finley
    Manager of Media Engagement, Texas Alzheimer's Association

    Right now, 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million. In Texas, this amounts to over 400,000 Texans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias with an expected growth of more than 20% by 2050.

    The Alzheimer’s Association is partnering with TAFP to provide a variety of resources to support family physicians throughout the disease continuum, including early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and related dementias, management of these conditions, and care planning and support services following a diagnosis.  

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  • What’s being heard: Methods for establishing strong patient rapport

    Tags: Antonio Barksdale, patient rapport

    By Antonio Barksdale, MD

    As providers, particularly primary care providers, it is becoming more and more vital to establish a positive and strong rapport with every patient. This rapport fosters trust, openness, and ultimately yields better compliance along with improved outcomes. How is this rapport established? How do we get patients to trust us? How do we get patients to listen? How do we improve compliance? And how do we improve patient satisfaction scores?

    There is a slew of research on these topics and we have an entire team in our organization to address the last question. The one thing I’d like to highlight in this article is being mindful of how we are communicating and what messages we are sending beyond the surface of our words. We’re communicating all day. We greet, we ask, we explain, we plan, we disclose, we lecture, we theorize, we talk about numerous things with our patients. Patients however only hear a portion of what is being said. To some providers, this can be disconcerting and frustrating. After all, we’ve invested our time, expertise, energy in order to tell the patient something beneficial, so they should readily scoop it all up ... right? Research shows that patients only grasp 20-60% of the information spouted at them, depending on the type and complexity of the information.

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  • President's Letter

    Tags: president's letter, jake margo, dr. margo, best laid plans

    The best laid plans of mice and men

    By Javier “Jake” Margo Jr., MD
    TAFP President

    I don’t know about y’all, but man, I have really been looking forward to this summer because there’s been something special on my calendar — something I have always wanted to do since I attended summer Scout camp back when I was a kid. For the first time since I became a Scout, I have plans to attend Boy Scout summer camp for an entire week, this time as a counselor! It happens to be at the longest continuously operating Boy Scout camp in Texas, the same camp my grandfather and my father went to, and the same one my son attended as a Cub Scout.

    And I also have on my calendar a plan to take my family for a half week of amazing fun at the Boy Scouts of America Family Adventure Camp at the world famous Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. That’s right. I have a plan to introduce my family to one of the BSA’s four high adventure bases. Attending this camp is widely regarded as a pinnacle experience in scouting, particularly by those of us who were fortunate enough to have attended as Scouts.

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  • Attention residents and students: Attend AAFP’s National Conference virtually

    Funding opportunity applications due June 26

    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. This year, National Conference is going virtual. From July 30 to August 1, you can attend 11 hours of education with workshops and main stage speakers. All sessions will be recorded, and registrants will have online access to the recordings for 30 days. The popular Expo Hall will be broken into “floors” so you can find the residency programs and exhibitors you are most interested in. You can schedule one-on-one appointments with residency programs, recruiters, and other exhibitors. You can also network with fellow attendees.

    With the move to virtual for this year, the price tag to attend is much lower and there are more opportunities for financial assistance if you act fast.

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  • Three-part practice management CME webinar series

    Tags: CME Webinar Series, practice management, aafp

    Practical solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s family physicians

    Fourteen chapters of the AAFP have joined forces to develop a three-part webinar series to recognize that in the midst of chaos, family physicians have a unique opportunity to harness and forge their own financially successful practice management path.

    The primary goal of the series is to provide family physicians and their practice teams high-value education on critical practice management issues during this time of unparalleled crisis in American health care. By learning to be nimble and adapting to change, practices are capitalizing on innovation like never before — hear how a few family medicine practices are thriving.

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  • Physician practices on the brink: A warning for Congress

    Tags: COVID-19, practice viability, SBA loans, Congress

    By Tom Banning

    There is no question that  the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented financial pain throughout our health care system. Primary care physicians have seen a drop in patient visits of more than 50%, specialty physicians have seen patient volume evaporate, and hospitals are burning through cash as patients avoid going to the emergency room and non-urgent surgeries and other elective procedures  that make up the bulk of hospital revenue have been canceled.

    In a Stateline article this week, The Pew Charitable Trusts warns of the “possibility that the non-hospital health system will be decimated, and many of the surviving providers will be ill-prepared to deal with the pent-up demand that emerges from this crisis.” They predict a near future rife with acquisitions and mergers for independent physicians unable to survive months with no revenue.

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