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doctors

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

After years of preparation, classes are underway at Fort Worth’s newest medical school – a partnership between Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Officials are hoping to modernize medical education. The new school has injected a creative curriculum designed to improve the health of future doctors and patients.

Two Texas doctors are suing the state over a law prohibiting them from selling prescription drugs to their patients.

What's Doctor Burnout Costing America?

May 31, 2019

Doctor burnout is costing the U.S. health care system a lot — roughly $4.6 billion a year, according to a study published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"Everybody who goes into medicine knows that it's a stressful career and that it's a lot of hard work," says Lotte Dyrbye, a physician and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who co-authored the study.

For most of his career, Dr. Stephen Trzeciak was not a big believer in the "touchy-feely" side of medicine. As a specialist in intensive care and chief of medicine at Cooper University Health Care in Camden, N.J., Trzeciak felt most at home in the hard sciences.

From Texas Standard:

A group of U.S. health organizations, including the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, recently released the first-ever obesity-focused curriculum for American medical education.

The U.S. surgeon general's office estimates that more than 20 million people have a substance-use disorder. Meanwhile, the nation's drug overdose crisis shows no sign of slowing.

Yet, by all accounts, there aren't nearly enough physicians who specialize in treating addiction — doctors with extensive clinical training who are board certified in addiction medicine.

The opioid epidemic killed more than 1,300 Texans in 2016. The next year, state lawmakers passed legislation to mandate a prescription-monitoring program that requires medical providers to check a patient’s health records before prescribing opioids. The mandate is supposed to take effect in September, but the program may be delayed at the request of doctors.

Andrea Hernandez ended up in a McAllen hospital after a drunken driver hit the car she was in.

“I basically got amnesia because of how hard I hit my head,” the 22-year-old says.

Like many families in Texas, Hernandez’s family is from Mexico. Her father speaks only Spanish, so she says it was valuable that her doctor was from Mexico and spoke Spanish, too.

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Texas has almost a dozen medical schools, but it also has a rural healthcare worker shortage. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is set to vote Thursday on whether to approve another medical school.

One patient's death changed the course of Dr. Lilia Cervantes' career. The patient, Cervantes says, was a woman from Mexico with kidney failure who repeatedly visited the emergency room for more than three years. In that time, her heart had stopped more than once, and her ribs were fractured from CPR. The woman finally decided to stop treatment because the stress was too much for her and her two young children. Cervantes says she died soon after.

Photo courtesy of Eric Frey

Medical school students today are trained to diagnose complicated diseases, they’re rarely trained to engineer the solutions themselves. Soon, Texas A&M will start training doctors to also be engineers.

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Consulting a doctor by phone, text or video is becoming popular. And in Texas, the debate over safety and access to health care is heating up. 

Courtesy of Amy Ho

Text messages from your doctor are just the start. Millennial physicians are taking over hospital wards and doctors’ offices – and they’re bringing new technologies and new ideas about life-work balance.

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There’s about to be a new home for doctor entrepreneurs in Dallas-Fort Worth.  April 24th marks the launch of the new chapter of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (SoPE).

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How many days will you have to wait to see a doctor? Depends on where you live. A new study of fifteen metropolitan areas measured average wait time, and the winner? It’s Dallas.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

For years the government has been trying to convince doctors to trade in their pads and pens for computers and tablets – and not just because their handwriting is often illegible. The switch plays a fundamental role in achieving the promises of Obamacare -- lower costs and more access. Not all North Texas physicians are taking the bait.

The misery of low back pain often drives people to the doctor to seek relief. But doctors are doing a pretty miserable job of treating back pain, a study finds.

Physicians are increasingly prescribing expensive scans, narcotic painkillers and other treatments that don't help in most cases, and can make things a lot worse. Since 1 in 10 of all primary care visits are for low back pain, this is no small matter.

The PSA test has been dissed a lot lately. The nation's preventive medicine task force, for one, says the test is so unreliable in figuring out who's at risk for deadly prostate cancer that most men shouldn't bother getting one.

Older men are at high risk of suicide, and they're far more likely to kill themselves if they have access to firearms.

Doctors should ask relatives of older people with depression or cognitive problems if there are guns in the home, much as they might ask about whether it's time to take away the car keys, an academic paper says.

Lauren Silverman

There is a serious doctor shortage in Texas. Nationwide, the state ranks near the bottom when it comes to doctor-patient ratios, and that’s only expected to get worse as more people gain access to insurance with the Affordable Care Act. For decades, nurse practitioners have argued they can help fill the gaps in primary care – if only there were fewer restrictions. Now, legislation giving nurses more autonomy has been signed into law.

Courtesy Chris Ewin

Ten-minute physicals and health insurance paperwork aren't just frustrating for patients – they're a pain for doctors, too. One of every 10 Texas doctors say they are moving away from accepting insurance and toward a flat fee for coverage. They call it "concierge care," or direct medicine.

More than 4,000 U.S. doctors offer concierge services. That’s 30 percent more than last year. And Texas is a hot zone: at least a dozen doctors have gone concierge in Dallas-Fort Worth alone. Here’s a basic overview.