Use TAFP resources to educate lawmakers on issues important to family medicine
TAFP serves as your voice in the Texas Legislature and we have a team of advocates with strong relationships throughout the Capitol community and in state agencies working on your behalf. We continue to make strides for the specialty, but we can’t do it without your help. TAFP members can make a difference and we invite you to get involved in the fight for family medicine.
The 83rd Texas Legislature convenes on Tuesday, Jan. 8, and getting involved is possible no matter how much time you’re able to commit. Whether taking five minutes to read one of TAFP’s Advocacy Action Item e-mails and send a message to your representative, or a few minutes to donate to TAFPPAC online, or dedicating a day to see patients at the Capitol, your involvement matters. Here are a few opportunities to consider.
- Sign up to be a Key Contact – State and federal lawmakers are making decisions that directly affect your patients and your practice. As legislative battles heat up, legislators need to hear from family physicians about how medicine should be practiced. Physicians who sign up for TAFP’s Key Contact program serve as resources to their legislators, educating them on health care issues that affect the practice of medicine and patient care. As a Key Contact, TAFP will reach out to you leading up to and during the 83rd Legislative Session with resources and guidance for connecting with your senator or representative. It can be as easy as sending an e-mail, but each member interaction adds to the total effort.
- Serve as a Physician of the Day – As a service to the Texas Legislature, TAFP coordinates the Physician of the Day program. TAFP-member family physicians volunteer to staff the Capitol Health Services Clinic for a day during each legislative session or special session, demonstrating first-hand the value and necessity of family physicians in Texas. The Physician of the Day is introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and his or her name becomes a permanent part of the official legislative record. Sign up on the Physician of the Day page of TAFP’s website.
- Join TAFPPAC – The TAFP Political Action Committee (TAFPPAC) speaks on behalf of TAFP members through grassroots involvement, personal relationships with elected officials, and political campaign participation and contributions. TAFPPAC is a non-partisan political action committee that supports candidates who demonstrate support for issues important to family physicians and our patients. TAFP members can give a one-time donation or sign up to be a monthly donor on the TAFPPAC page of TAFP’s website. Also, view TAFPPAC’s list of candidate endorsements as you head to the polls for the general election on Nov. 6.
Leading up to and during the 83rd Legislature, TAFP Communications will provide advocacy resources detailing the Academy’s stance on workforce, scope of practice, medical education and graduate medical education, and other important issues. To start, check out a set of white papers on changing medical education and GME to produce the physician workforce Texas needs now and in the future to care for a growing population.
- Read “Primary Care in Texas: Condition Critical” for an analysis of the funding of graduate medical education and how this funding has contributed to the decline of family medicine residency slots.
- Read “The Right Kind of Doctors for Texas: Revisiting barriers to building the primary care workforce, 20 years later” for a look back at challenges the Academy and other stakeholders identified in the early ’90s and what we must do now to reverse the damage of inaction.