By Katherine Buck, PhD, LMFT
This article is an edited version of a continuing medical education lecture Dr. Buck presented during the 2020 Annual Session and Primary Care Summit.
Keeping up the fight for family medicine through the pandemic
By Amer Shakil, MD, MBA
Greetings members. What a strange year and a half its been for all of us. As life is slowly and cautiously beginning to return to something akin to normal, we should take a moment to acknowledge the struggles and the achievements we have experienced, both individually and as a specialty. Over these several months, the resilience of family physicians, our physician colleagues, other health care providers, and aides of all sorts has been nothing short of amazing.
I have also marveled at the resilience of our Academy. In February of 2020, it seemed unimaginable that we would cancel April’s C. Frank Webber Lectureship and Interim Session. And then it became obvious that we couldn’t possibly hold the meeting. The Academy would go on to learn to produce virtual conferences, and that’s how we would conduct business for the rest of the year.more
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 virtual. From July 29-31 you can attend online workshops and main stage speaker sessions. The popular Expo Hall will be broken into sections so you can find the residency programs by state 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.
Because it is virtual this year, the price tag to attend is much lower and there are more opportunities for financial assistance if you act fast.
TAFP Foundation fundingmore
The TAFP Foundation is increasing the number of funding slots to help 300 Texas medical students and residents attend national conference. The application will stay open until July 25 or all the funding slots are taken.
TAFP has a new governance structure, and the Section on Medical Students and Section on Resident Physicians no longer exist. In their place, a TAFP Resident and Student Leader Forum meets virtually throughout the year and a Residency Network with representatives from all programs and an FMIG Network with representatives from all medical schools meets a few times a year.
The student and resident board members serve as co-chairs at the forum that include the chair, chair-elect, National Conference representatives, Member Assembly representatives, members serving on the new councils, resident and student advisors to the TAFP Foundation, the FMIG coordinator, and the resident advisors. There will also be an active member in attendance serving as the TAFP Board Liaison.
Monthly meetings during the academic year allow members to share information, plan live educational meetings, and carry out other projects.more
By Anticipate Joy
The sun is out, the school year is drawing to a close, and Texas is embarking upon absolutely balmy 100+ degree weather. Summer is officially here.
While the summer season is always depicted as a chance to relax and unwind, it can be a very stressful time. Trying to plan vacations, enduring an influx of clients rushing to get appointments before school starts back up in August, and missing out on time with loved ones who might be home while you’re at work can all be stressors impacting your mental health. Combine that with all the challenges this year has brought with the pandemic — specifically impacting your industry so greatly — can lead to a great deal of built-up anxiety going into the summer months.more
By Anticipate Joy
Responses to the “Medscape Family Medicine Physician Lifestyle, Happiness and Burnout Report 2021” indicate that in a study of more than 12,000 physicians from more than 29 specialties, family physicians are in the middle of the pack in rankings by specialty regarding happiness outside of work.
As guest speakers at TAFP's C. Frank Webber Lectureship, our co-founders Dr. Evans and Dr. Tetterton were delighted to meet many of you face to face. They shared the importance of family physicians taking care of their mental health. This has become increasingly important because researchers have consistently shown a trend of surging rates of physician burnout. It may not come as a surprise that the COVID pandemic has drained the medical profession; nearly half (47%) of family physicians in the Medscape survey reported experiencing severe burnout. In fact, an alarming 1 in 10 physicians is considering leaving medicine as a result.more
By AAFP Public Relations
On May 4, 2021, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a new report, “Implementing High-Quality Primary Care,” that details the importance of having high-quality primary care in America and the positive difference it would make for individuals, communities and the entire country. AAFP was one of the sponsors of the study.
Building on the foundation set forth in the Institute of Medicine’s 1996 report, “Primary Care: America’s Health in a New Era,” NASEM’s report is the result of nearly 18 months of research and work to examine the role that primary care should play in the U.S. health care system.more
By Jonathan Nelson
After the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would pull out of an agreement to extend the Texas Medicaid 1115 Transformation Waiver for 10 years, a bipartisan group of Texas House members joined health care organizations including TAFP, employers, and advocacy groups to push for a plan that would increase coverage for Texans.
The 1115 waiver allows hospitals to draw down federal funds to cover uncompensated care costs incurred when uninsured patients can’t pay for their care. While CMS subsidizes those costs for hospitals, community physicians are not covered by the waiver. The state’s current waiver remains in effect until Sept. 30, 2022, but this recent decision by CMS throws into question the stability of Texas’ health care safety net programs after that date.more
By Jonathan Nelson
Speaker Dade Phelan led a bipartisan group of representatives in announcing support for a number of bills to address access to health care during a press conference at the State Capitol on April 7, 2021. The Healthy Families, Healthy Texas plan marks a serious commitment to tackle some longstanding barriers to care facing Texas patients.
“The goal of this legislative package is to make health care more affordable, more accessible, and to save lives through better health outcomes,” Phelan said.more
By Edith Ortiz, MBA
The Child Psychiatry Access Network can assist a primary care physician during a mental-health-focused assessment in the office, providing them with education and recommendations for evidence-based interventions. Studies show that families place enormous trust in you, their family doctor, and often prefer to have mental health issues managed without a referral to a specialist. Our CPAN team is there to support that process as well as help locate mental health services when the problem is severe and warrants specialty intervention.
We are happy to take a call whether the patient is in your office or not. Call us when you get that inbox message and are not sure of the next steps. Call us when an intervention you have recommended is not effective. Call us when you want help explaining a mental health challenge to a family. You will reach a team member within five minutes of your call, and if a child psychiatry team member is needed to assist, they will call you back within 30 minutes.more