Texas Health Resources and the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine are expanding their affiliation to include support of graduate medical education (GME) programs at hospitals in Fort Worth, Hurst-Euless-Bedford and Denton.
This relationship will further promote growth of the physician workforce in North Texas, the organizations said in a news release.
By July 2022, Texas Health plans to have a total of nearly 50 residents training at GME program sites covered by this new affiliation. That annual number is expected to increase to more than 110 by July 2024.
“A steady pipeline of well-trained physicians is vital to serving our fast-growing region,” said Barclay Berdan, FACHE, CEO of Texas Health. “I’m proud of the collaboration between Texas Health and the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine. As we increase the number of residents training at Texas Health, this partnership creates new avenues for educational activities, faculty engagement and research initiatives that will enhance our GME programs and help improve the health of the shared communities we serve.”
All medical school graduates must complete a period of GME, or residency training, to be licensed to practice medicine in the United States. GME comprises the second phase – after medical school – of the formal education that prepares doctors for medical practice.
During residency, doctors learn skills and techniques specific to their specialty under the supervision of attending physicians and serve as part of care teams, the news release said.
“I’m proud to see the expansion of medical residency programs here in Fort Worth,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker. “Our city is thriving and growing, and having the next generation of doctors training in our community is a major step toward a robust pipeline of doctors for the citizens of our city and the region.”
Nearly three-quarters of medical school graduates prefer to enroll in a residency program affiliated with a medical school, making a collaboration such as the one between Texas Health and the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine attractive, according to the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) 2021 Applicant Survey Report.
“This GME affiliation will have a lasting impact on our communities, as we are able to train more physicians right here in Texas and keep them here to practice,” said Stuart D. Flynn, M.D., dean of the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine. “Texas Health has been an incredible partner, and we are honored to work together with these leaders in healthcare to create excellent GME opportunities. Our focus on inspiring physicians to be Empathetic Scholars® pairs perfectly with Texas Health’s focus on improving the health and well-being of our community.”
Development of GME programs is an integral step toward retaining physicians in North Texas. In Texas, 67% of residents stay in-state after training. That number jumps to 81% if they also attend medical school in Texas, according to the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). This is especially important in the wake of a pandemic that has exacerbated the need to accelerate growth of the physician workforce. Only two states do better at retaining residents: Alaska and California.
According to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), when it comes to comparably sized markets, Dallas-Fort Worth has fewer residency slots per 100,000 people than Chicago, Houston, New York and Los Angeles.
The physician workforce continues to be an issue in Texas. According to data released by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in the 2019 Physician Workforce Data Book, Texas had fewer physicians per 100,000 population than the nation as a whole, and it lagged behind the 10 most populous states.
The shortage of all physicians statewide is projected to increase from 6,218 physicians in 2018 to 10,330 physicians in 2032, according to the May 2020 Texas Physician Supply and Demand Projections.