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
By Jonathan Nelson
The Texas Legislature approached full stride this week as some of its most powerful committees began hearing testimony from state agencies and the public. The Senate Finance Committee took up Article II of the state budget, which contains funding for all agencies and programs that fall under Texas Health and Human Services. That includes Medicaid, CHIP, Healthy Texas Women, the Family Planning Program, services for the aging and those with disabilities, and much more. At roughly $80 billion for the biennium, Article II accounts for more than a third of total state expenditures.
Antonio Falcon, MD, of Rio Grande City, was the first TAFP member to address the committee on Wednesday morning, February 6, advocating for one of organized medicine’s top legislative priorities, the allocation of funding to ensure competitive and appropriate Medicaid payments. Those payment rates have not been increased in a meaningful or enduring manner in nearly two decades. Yet physician practice costs have increased by about 3 percent each year.more
By Jonathan Nelson
We’re well into the third week of the Texas Legislature and now that the opening ceremonies are out of the way, lawmakers are beginning to get down to business. Both the House and the Senate have released their proposed budgets for the coming biennium, and both have announced committee assignments. Now the real work begins.
This session TAFP aims to fight for the restoration of funding for our family medicine residency programs to help address the increasing shortage of primary care physicians practicing in the state.more
Taking your Boards? Choose the best Board Review for family physicians. Choose AAFP Board Review Express ®.
AAFP Family Medicine Board Review Express ® Live Course in Dallas, Feb. 21 - 24more
When you renew your annual AAFP/TAFP membership this fall, consider supporting the AAFP Foundation by making a $50 check-off donation on your dues form. Your contribution will ensure that the important work of the Foundation continues at the state and national levels.
Go to the AAFP website to pay your dues.
Your dollars will fund grants for chapter-level programs through the Family Medicine Philanthropic Consortium as well as AAFP Foundation humanitarian, educational, and research initiatives. All programs are designed to advance the values of family medicine and improve the health of all people.
The dues check-off is the easiest and fastest way to support your state and national Foundation. Your $50 gift:more