Texas State Capitol
Today was DOME Day in Austin. About 80 of my fellow Osteopathic medical students and I drove to Austin to talk to the Texas Legislature about the future of graduate medical education and some other talking points that are important to us as current medical students and future Osteopathic physicians.
It was a great day at the Capitol. Met with several representatives (Rep. Diane Patrick and Rep. Craig Goldman) and their legislative directors as well as the legislative director for Senator Wendy Davis. I feel pretty encouraged from our meetings and drop ins. There is a dire need for an increase in funding for graduate medical education (residency slots) in Texas. The money goes directly for paying the salary for Resident Physicians as well as indirectly for their health insurance, food costs, training costs. As it stands, there are about 1500 medical students that graduate in Texas from the nine medical schools each year. About half of the Texas-trained physicians will get residency positions in the state of Texas. So while Texas spends about $200,000 by the end of our undergraduate medical career (the 4 years of medical school), if we do not get residency spots in Texas, more often than not, we will not be coming back to Texas to practice medicine. You plant your roots where you go to residency. It just doesn't seem like good business for Texas to be training and supporting doctors for California and New Jersey. We need more residency slots to meet the physician shortage in Texas head on. Adding more medical schools in Texas is NOT the answer (except for the Valley). Use that funding to keep physicians IN Texas. It's only adding to the problem if there are more medical schools. That just equates to more medical school graduates needing more Graduate Medical Education (GME) spots.. further exacerbating the existing problem.
But it's a money issue. Where's the money?
See photos with actual people in them on flickr.
- Nikon D4