Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Texas Needs a Robust Health Care Workforce

Travis Bias, DO
Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee took testimony on Texas’ public and higher education funding. Travis Bias, DO, a family physician in private practice in Pflugerville, took the stand on behalf of the Texas Medical Association. As a young physician fully educated and trained in Texas, he explained why funding medical education and graduate medical education (GME) programs, also known as residencies, are critical for shoring up Texas’ workforce.

“Texas needs more primary care physicians and more physicians in shortage specialties, such as child and adult psychiatry,” Dr. Bias told legislators. To accomplish this, it is critical that the state restore and grow funding for medical education, the Texas Statewide Primary Care Preceptorship Program, GME formula funding, and the Texas Physician Loan Education Repayment Program, he said.

Dr. Bias knows from his own experience that programs like the primary care preceptorship program encourage medical students to pursue that specialty.

“When I was in medical school, I had a required four-day preceptorship with a family physician in solo practice,” said Dr. Bias. “At that time, ‘family medicine’ was at the bottom of my list. However, after spending four days observing his practice, I started to re-think my area of specialization. … I learned primary care was not just coughs, colds, and referrals. This experience convinced me family medicine was the right choice for me.

“These programs are important to the physicians of Texas because they are essential for the health of Texans,” Dr. Bias said in his closing remarks.

Read More
Ensure an Adequate Workforce in TMA’s Healthy Vision 2020

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