TEXAS ALLIANCE FOR PATIENT ACCESS
Texas is adding new physicians faster than population. Since 2003, the
state has added 11,361 more in-state active physicians than can be
accounted for by population growth alone. Population growth may well account
for 50.2 percent of the state’s new physicians. The other 49.7 percent above the trend were
produced by some other factors. Many of the state’s newly-minted doctors have cited Texas’
more hospitable legal climate as a significant factor in their choosing to practice here.
More than two-thirds of the state’s 22 trauma service areas experienced a per population loss in direct patient care physicians during the liability crisis period. Since then, 80% of the state’s trauma service areas have experienced a per population gain. During the crisis years, the number of new applicants and new licensees stagnated or declined. Since then, the number of new physicians applying for a Texas license is at an all-time high and the number of licenses granted continues at near record levels--growing even faster than our fast-growing population. Today, Texas has more patient care physicians per population than ever.
The Association of American Medical Colleges collects comparative data on physician supply in all 50 states. During the past six years, only California has added more patient care doctors than Texas. And remember, California’s population is 50% greater than that of Texas. Only Utah bested Texas in percentage growth. From 2008-2014, the most current years for which data is available, the Lone Star State ranked 20th in per population physician growth; a remarkable accomplishment given our explosive population growth.
During the post-crisis years, the number of high-risk specialists in Texas has grown more than twice as fast as the state’s population.
Rural Texas was losing physicians per population during the liability crisis years. Today, those numbers are on the upswing. Since the passage of reforms, sixty-one rural counties have added at least one emergency medicine physician. Thirty-one rural counties have added an obstetrician. Twenty-one rural counties have added a cardiologist and seven have added an orthopedic surgeon. The rural gains are not simply a bi-product of population growth. For instance, forty-five rural counties that did not have a single emergency medicine physician in 2003 now do. Fourteen rural counties that lacked a cardiologist and twelve counties that lacked an obstetrician now have one.
P. O. Box 684157 | Austin, Texas 78768-4157 | 2301 South Capital of Texas Highway, Building J-101 | Austin, Texas 78746 | 512.703.2156 | Fax: 512.703.2050