Archives / 2015 / January
  • The Family Medicine Preceptorship Program is open for business

    Tags: preceptorship, medical student, bias

    Hey Texas medical school students, have you been eagerly awaiting the open enrollment period of the Texas Statewide Family Medicine Preceptorship Program? Well wait no more. We are currently accepting applications, so tell your friends and sign up today.

    Our preceptorship program offers medical students the chance to break out of the academic setting and see what medicine is really like when it’s practiced in the community. By spending two to four weeks with a practicing family doctor, they can experience the joy and fulfillment of a career caring for patients who are friends and neighbors. They find out that family medicine isn’t just about running on the hamster wheel and treating runny noses and sore throats all day.

    Sure we have survey results that show when medical students complete rotations in the Family Medicine Preceptorship Program, they are more likely to choose a career in family medicine, but the family doctors who cherish the memory of their rotations tell the story better.

  • Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition

    Tags: texas women's healthcare coalition, women's health, legislature, chatillon

    Working to improve Texans’ access to health care in the 84th Texas Legislature

    By Anna Chatillon
    Policy coordinator for the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition

    The Texas women’s Healthcare Coalition, of which TAFP is an active steering committee member, is a coalition of 47 health care, faith, and community-based member organizations. We are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Texas women, babies, and families by assuring access to preventive health care for all Texas women. Access to preventive and preconception care—including health screenings and contraception—means healthy, planned pregnancies, and early detection of cancers and other treatable conditions. The TWHC was formed in response to the devastating legislative budget cuts to women’s health care in 2011.

    Now that the prior level of funding has been restored, it is clear the restoration was only the first step toward ensuring that all women in Texas have access to the preventive care they need. Even now, only three in 10 women who need publicly funded health care have access to it. Texas desperately needs to appropriate more funding for women’s health care in the next legislative session. The consequences of failing to provide women access are too high, both in human costs and in financial implications, for Texans to accept.

  • Asset protection: An ounce of prevention

    Tags: wiewel, finance

    By Brad Wiewel
    The Wiewel Law Firm

    Asset protection is something that many physicians, including family physicians, don’t focus on until they have been threatened with a malpractice lawsuit. I know, because I have had more than my share of telephone calls from frightened physician clients wanting to know if it is too late to do the planning I recommended when we met at my office to discuss their estate plans.

    Unfortunately, the answer is, “It’s almost always too late.” You must plan to protect your assets from being taken before a claim against you is pending, expected, or threatened.

  • More than meets the eye: Value of small practices shouldn’t be ignored

    Tags: perspective, van winkle

    By Lloyd Van Winkle, MD

    For years, we’ve been hearing about the decline — even death — of the small primary care practice, but I’m here to say that obituary is premature, if not flat-out wrong. When a recent study published in Health Affairs touted the value of small practices, I didn’t need convincing. I’m a small practice owner and have been for nearly 30 years.

    The study found that primary care practices with one or two physicians had one-third as many preventable hospital admissions compared to practices with 10 to 19 physicians. The study also reported that smaller practices achieved their impressive results despite caring for a higher percentage of patients with chronic conditions than larger practices.

  • Keep doing what you do best; change what needs to be changed

    Tags: president, ragle, president's letter, health care reform

    An adaptation of the 2014-2015 incoming president’s address

    By Dale Ragle, MD
    TAFP President, 2014-2015

    It is an honor and a privilege to serve my fellow family docs as TAFP President. There is no other group of people that I would rather serve and give my time to than you. I represent all of you, whether you are a solo, rural doc in west Texas where you may be the only doctor within 70 miles, a doctor in a big multi-specialty group, a resident in training, or a medical student aspiring for a career in family medicine. You all deserve my service and attention and you all shall get it.

    The last three members to serve as president of our organization have initiated their terms with inaugural speeches about change and reform of our health care system. I too will tell you that our health care system is indeed changing and we are going to have to adapt in some way. The forces driving this change are bigger than TAFP, they are bigger than AAFP, and they are bigger than the AMA.