Highlights from TAFP’s 2018 Annual Session
Advocating for you and your patients
The Texas legislative session was a topic of conversation throughout the meeting. The Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs discussed TAFP’s priorities regarding state appropriations for the Family Medicine Preceptorship Program, Physician Loan Repayment Program, Family Practice Residency Program, Texas Healthy Women’s Program, and Medicaid payment rates. They also discussed opioid prescribing initiatives including mandatory e-prescribing, integration of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program with electronic health record software, and a limit on the number of days opioids can be prescribed for acute problems. The commission also discussed potential legislation to allow physicians to dispense pharmaceuticals in their practices.
The Commission on Academic Affairs discussed the Texas Family Medicine Preceptorship Program. TAFP administers the state-funded program and saw a great increase in student participation this past year. In 2018 the program had 143 preclinical medical students complete a family medicine preceptorship, up from 80 in 2017. Increased marketing and higher stipends for students were two factors that led to the dramatic increase. The program needs volunteer preceptors to ensure continued success. The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for first- and second-year medical students to experience family medicine outside the academic health center.
More than 50 medical students and residents attended ASPCS and most participated in the Resident and Student Track held on November 10 to learn about the legal and ethical issues in medicine, autism, the upcoming legislative session and more. Students participated in a resident-led procedure workshop on suturing and residents had their own suturing workshop taught by faculty from National Procedures Institute on November 9.
Member services and resources in development
ABFM’s announcement to pilot an alternative to the exam beginning in 2019 was a topic of conversation throughout the meeting. Several leaders attended a meeting with ABFM leadership just before Annual Session and discussed their efforts to align the Maintenance of Certification Part IV requirements with institutional quality improvement initiatives regularly carried out by physician groups and health systems. The Commission on Core Delegation asked staff to continue sharing this information and resources through the various communications channels and in our CME to assist members with MOC.
The Section on Maternity Care and Rural Physicians discussed their new scholarship program. TAFP awarded scholarships to three members — a medical student, resident, and a practicing physician to attend AAFP’s 2018 Family-Centered Maternity Care Live Course. They were all asked to share what they learned with others.
It’s important to have the voice of family medicine heard wherever decisions are being made about health care and that certainly includes the Texas Medical Association. The Nominating Committee asked the staff to plan an information meeting during the next C. Frank Webber Lectureship and Interim Session for members interested in getting more involved with TMA. Current and past TMA leaders will be available to answer questions and share their experience.
The Leadership Development Committee met to review the Family Medicine Leadership Experience and shape the curriculum for the 2019 class. They also discussed ways to keep the alumni involved in TAFP. The new class will have their first session during TAFP’s Interim Session in April.
TAFP is an ACCME-accredited provider of continuing medical education. Staff and volunteers collaborate to plan and produce education for members and ensure compliance with all requirements. At Annual Session, the Commission on Continuing Professional Development and the CME planning committee worked on future educational offerings and discussed how to integrate more physician wellness and burnout prevention initiatives and content into TAFP’s continuing professional development. They also discussed behavioral health integration into practice and how our education can support efforts by members to address mental and behavioral health issues in their practice and community.
Public Health and Research
The Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs and Research had presentations and discussed a variety of issues. Dr. Russell Kohl from TMF Health Quality Institute and Elizabeth Montgomery from the National Kidney Foundation gave a presentation about their Campaign for Kidney Health. The commission discussed corporal punishment with Dr. David Schneider and Dr. George Holden and agreed to draft a resolution to AAFP on the topic. Dr. Sherri Onyiego is TAFP’s representative to a Hepatitis C advisory group and she provided an update on their work. Claudia Rodas with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids presented legislative efforts to prevent youth tobacco use, specifically advocating Tobacco 21, an initiative to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. TAFP is an active member of the T21 initiative. The commission also discussed parental incarceration and legislative efforts to give judges flexibility to allow families to stay together.
The Section on Maternity Care and Rural Physicians had a presentation from Dr. Nancy Dickey, the Executive Director of the A&M Rural and Community Health Institute on the changing face of rural health care.
The Section on Research had a presentation on toxicant-induced loss of tolerance. They also discussed their monthly conference calls and invited members to participate. To join these calls and interact with fellow researchers across the state, contact Jean Klewitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAFP meetings are an opportunity to gather and participate in discussion on a variety of topics. Section meetings are held during TAFP’s Interim and Annual Sessions and are intended for any interested member to participate.
Dr. Janet Hurley unveiled TAFP’s new Strategic Plan during the TAFP Member Assembly on Friday, November 9. The voting representatives to the Member Assembly elected these 2018-19 leaders:
President-elect: Javier D. Margo, Jr., MD
Treasurer: Amer Shakil, MD
Parliamentarian: Mary S. Nguyen, MD
Delegate to AAFP: Douglas Curran, MD
Alternate Delegate to AAFP: Troy Fiesinger, MD
New Physician Director: Lane Aiena, MD
Gerald Banks, MD and Ike Okwuwa, MD
Special Constituencies Director: Stuti Nagpal, MD
Resident Director: Janie Gibson, MD
Medical Student Director: Justin Fu
At the annual Business and Awards lunch, the membership approved bylaws amendments recommended and published in Texas Family Physician last year. These changes bring TAFP’s bylaws in line with AAFP’s bylaws.
Several members completed terms as committee chair and they were thanked for their years of service:
Terrance Hines, MD — Bylaws Committee
Linda Siy, MD — Nominating Committee
Ron Cook, MD — Commission on Academic Affairs
Adanna Amechi-Obigwe, MD — Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs and Research