Advocating for family medicine in the
83rd Texas Legislature
The primary care physician workforce shortage we currently face is quickly becoming a threat to thousands of Texans’ access to health care. In 2011, Texas had 129 counties that were considered full health professional shortage areas, meaning less than one physician per 3,500 people. Of those counties, 29 had no primary care physician at all.
More than 70 percent of family physicians completing residency in Texas remain here to practice. It is obvious that training more doctors here is the solution to the workforce shortage, but funding is an issue. Last session’s budget cuts to the state’s primary care residency programs and elimination of the Statewide Primary Care Preceptorship Program’s funding have made it difficult to incentivize students to study family medicine. On top of that, Texas will soon be graduating more medical students than the number of first-year residency training positions available in the state.
TAFP Issue Briefs
> Recommendations for Strengthening Primary Care in the 83rd Texas Legislature
A series of nine recommendations proposed by TAFP to increase training and production of primary care physicians and improve Texans’ access to primary care. Previously published in the Fall 2012 issue of Texas Family Physician.
> Invest in Primary Care Residency Training Programs
An argument for the restoration of funding to the current primary care residency training programs, as well as to the Statewide Primary Care Preceptorship Program.
> Family Medicine Residency Programs are Critical in Training Texas’ Physician Workforce
An argument for the support of existing family medicine residency programs across the state, as well as a call to increase the number of available training positions.
> GME 101: What you need to know about graduate medical education in Texas
With funding as complex as graduate medical education – part federal, part state, and part institutional support – it is easy to get lost in the explanation. This document is a primer that covers the basics of GME.
> Condition critical: The case for rescuing primary care in Texas
Texas’ primary care workforce shortage threatens the health of the state’s economy and its citizens. The 83rd Legislature can lay the foundation for innovation and improvement in our health care delivery system by reinvesting in our primary care workforce.
> The right kind of doctors for Texas: Revisiting barriers to building the primary care workforce, 20 years later
Twenty years ago, TAFP called for changes in medical education to ensure Texas would have the primary care physician workforce needed to care for a rapidly growing population. Now, the state is in a perilous position as academic institutions have no financial incentive to train new primary care physicians and medical students are actively discouraged from these disciplines.
> Your primer on grassroots advocacy
A step-by-step guide to success under the pink granite dome. Plus, 10 questions for TAFP's lobbyists and how to win allies and influence legislators.