After much criticism and the filing of a lawsuit by AAPS against it, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) will host a series of town hall meetings this summer. This exercise is supposedly to “gather input and feedback about regulation of the medical profession.”
“We want to encourage a more active dialogue with doctors and with the public,” said TMB Board President Roberta Kalafut, D.O. “The impressions we have as regulators may not mirror the impressions of the licensees.”
But none of the scheduled town hall meetings are in the Houston area, by far the largest city in Texas. Instead, the town hall meetings are scheduled for places including Brownsville, which is located in the difficult-to-reach most southern region in Texas. Midland, another location for these meetings, is even more remote.
The TMB has done nothing yet to end its arbitrary and abusive practices, although one of the key participants has resigned and a second has announced his resignation.
According to a TMB press release, it “has already instituted two changes that will benefit licensees. The first, a ‘fast-track’ enforcement system that allows physicians who face relatively minor administrative violations to dispose of those charges without needing to attend a hearing.”
The second, the License Inquiry System of Texas (LIST), allows applicants to check the status of their applications and to learn what items are required to process it.
At the October 23 hearing before the Texas legislature, many physicians gave compelling testimony about how minor or nonexistent issues were converted into career-ending injustices. The transcript of that session is available on our website at http://www.aapsonline.org/tmb.php.
Each town hall meeting will begin with a 7 p.m. town hall, and continue with a three-hour licensing seminar on the following day. The seminar is intended to help entities that credential or recruit physicians to streamline their application process and minimize errors.
The schedule (also posted under “news,” “press releases” on the TMB website www.tmb.state.tx.us) is as follows:
June 9/10, Brownsville, TX: Brownsville Event Center, 1 Event Center Blvd. Seminar begins at 8:30 a.m.
June 17/18, Midland, TX: Center for Energy and Economic Diversification, 1400 N. FM 1788. Seminar begins at 8:30 a.m.
June 23/24. Austin, TX: Town hall in the Thompson Auditorium of the Texas Medical Association Offices, 401 W. 15th St. Seminar in Room 100 in the lobby area at William P. Hobby Jr. State Office Building, 333 Guadalupe St. Seminar begins at 11:00 a.m.
July 1, 2, Fort Worth, TX: University of North Texas Health Science Center, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd., Luibel Hall, 2nd floor of EAD building, corner of Montgomery and Camp Bowie. Seminar begins at 8:30 a.m.
July 8/9, Bryan/College Station, TX: Lecture Hall 1, Joe Reynolds Medical Building, Texas A&M, southwest corner of University Drive and Olsen Blvd. Seminar begins at 8:30 a.m.
Please show up, speak out, and consider making a lawful tape recording. Suggest questions to ask by posting a comment below.