TCOM to Host First Anniversary Walk with a Future Doc Texas Event Saturday

  • WHAT: Fort Worth residents of all ages are encouraged to lace up their walking shoes and join medical students and faculty from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine for Fort Worth’s first anniversary Walk with a Future Doc (WWAFD) Texas event.  
  • WHEN: Saturday, June 11, at 8:30 am (recurring monthly every second Saturday)
  • WHERE: LVTRise – 8201 Calmont Ave Fort Worth, Texas 76116 (Meet at the outdoor area behind the facility)
  • WHO: Dr. Maria Crompton, medical students, and any community members interested in participating
  • WHY: Walking is one of the simplest, best things people can do to live a long, high-quality life. WWAFD makes it easy by providing the time, place, motivation (a brief health information talk), and fellow participants for a fun walking experience.

For more information, call Kate Russell, OMS-II, at 903-316-9392, or email her at KatherineRussell@my.unthsc.edu.

The Walk with a Future Doc concept is simple: Physicians and medical stduents organize walks in their communities and invite their patients, their patients’ families, and community members to join them. Walkers will enjoy a refreshing and invigorating walk with Dr. Crompton and other health care professionals, who will provide support to participants and answer questions during the walk. Walk with a Doc Texas is overseen by a national nonprofit organization to get people active and healthy, and is backed by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) in Texas.

This is a FREE program, and preregistration is not required. Information about future walks will be announced on this chapter’s Walk with a Doc website.

Walk with a Doc is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire communities through movement and conversation with physician-led walking groups. Walk with a Doc was started in 2005 by David Sabgir, MD, a board-certified cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio. To learn more, visit the Walk with a Doc website.

The Last Word

by Hujefa Vora, MD
Chair, Publications Committee

This article was originally published in the March/April 2022 issue of the Tarrant County Physician. You can read find the full magazine here.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

We all had a choice.  We graduated from medical school and then picked a residency along the way.  We knew that this choice had to be lasting.  That was a lot of pressure for those of us who think too deeply or gaze off too far toward the horizon.  And yet, the decision was made, none of us grasping the fact that an even bigger decision lay ahead of us just around the bend, past the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

What did we do next?  Some chose academics, though that was a minority. An even smaller minority chose private practice.  And many chose to join the world of corporate medicine, working for hospitals or insurance conglomerates or large multispecialty groups.  That may be three roads, not two, but you get the gist. 

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

At the time, all of these choices looked to be equal.  It felt right, though, that I would start my own business, put out my shingle, a welcome mat of sorts, try my luck, and let the cards fall as they may.  And fall they did.  For 20 years, I have run a business, something I was never trained to do.  I have built a successful practice (knock on wood), successful not because I’ve made a lot of money, something solo primary care physicians rarely do anymore, but because my staff and I have helped a lot of people live better, fuller lives.  Above all else do no harm, but that really means do the best for your patients, their families, our friends, and all of us.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

But now, it is so much easier to look back and ponder a new choice.  With the advent of quality measures, ever-changing metrics where the finish line is constantly moving, with the dissolution of the fee-for-service system, it has become infinitely harder to run a small practice. To oversimplify, we don’t always know where or when revenue will come in, and the variability increases with the fact that we never know how much we will be paid for the work we do.  And when my patients remind me that I’m not doing it for the money, I also remember that without the incoming stream of revenue, I would not have a practice that does so much good for my people, my friends, my patients.  Perhaps as I continue to walk this chosen path, I will cross a stream or two, get tangled in the brush, maybe even trip, fall, and get back up again.  No matter what, as all of us who are in small practices are apt to do, I continue forward, not knowing what lies ahead.  Perhaps I will come to another place where two roads diverge in the woods, and I will have to choose again.  For now, I bow to one of the Greats, and let Robert Frost have The Last Word.

FDA Approves First Generic of Symbicort for Asthma, COPD

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic of Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate) Inhalation Aerosol for the treatment of two common pulmonary health conditions: asthma in patients six years of age and older and the maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction and reducing exacerbations for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“Today’s approval of the first generic for one of the most commonly prescribed complex drug-device combination products to treat asthma and COPD is another step forward in our commitment to bring generic copies of complex drugs to the market, which can improve quality of life and help reduce the cost of treatment,” said Sally Choe, Ph.D., director of the Office of Generic Drugs in the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Asthma impacts 25 million people, more than five million of whom are children, while COPD afflicts more than 16 million, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The FDA granted approval of this generic budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate inhalation aerosol to Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

You can find the full release from the FDA here.


TMA Statement on U.S. District Court Decision to Grant Its Summary Judgment Motion

Find the original statement here.

Statement by Diana L. Fite, MD, Texas Medical Association (TMA) immediate past president, in response to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas’ ruling on TMA’s motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit opposing federal regulatory agencies’ unlawful approach to dispute resolution under the No Surprises Act.

“TMA is pleased that the court granted its motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit challenging the federal agencies’ unlawful approach to resolving disputes under the No Surprises Act. This decision is a major victory for patients and physicians. It also is a reminder that federal agencies must adopt regulations in accordance with the law.  

“This decision is an important step toward restoring the fair and balanced process that Congress enacted to resolve disputes between health insurers and physicians over appropriate out-of-network payment rates. The decision will promote patient access to quality care when they need it most and will guard against health insurer business practices that give patients fewer choices of affordable in-network physicians and threaten the sustainability of physician practices.”

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 56,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

Important COVID-19 Updates for North Texas Physicians

The North Texas Medical Society Coalition is sharing two important and timely COVID-19 updates as you help navigate care for your patients. 

First, the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) has opened a second COVID-19 antibody infusion center in North Texas. The new facility, located at Collin College in McKinney, will be in addition to the existing center in Ft. Worth. Click here to access the referral form and here for location details for the McKinney location. Click here for the referral form and here for location details for the Ft. Worth location.

Second, regional hospital emergency departments are requesting that well and mildly ill patients requiring a COVID-19 test (e.g. students, teachers and others who are seeking to return to school/work, or, individuals with mild symptoms), be directed to offsite COVID testing facilities. Emergency departments are being inundated with both sick patients and COVID-19 testing requests and have asked for the assistance of referring physicians to direct test-only patients to offsite locations. To access an offsite testing location, please click here. Please advise patients to contact the testing center prior to arriving to inquire about any limitations (e.g. no pediatrics, hours, appointments needed, etc.), and other important details. Hospitals have advised that patients who present at the emergency department for testing only may be charged an emergency department visit fee. While the COVID test itself is free, a facility visit fee may apply.

Thank you for all you are doing to serve your patients and our community. You are appreciated!

The NTMSC represents more than 11,500 physicians in the communities of Collin-Fannin, Dallas, Denton, Grayson, and Tarrant County. Founded in 2020, the NTMSC works with community healthcare partners, including public health departments, hospitals, and business leaders, to advise on medical recommendations to serve the health care needs of the residents of North Texas.

Lights in the Dark

by Angela Self, TCMS President

This article was originally published in the May/June issue of the Tarrant County Physician. You can read find the full magazine here.


I once wrote about my hopes for life after medical school. I would imagine my office decor, my conversations with patients, the time I would spend coordinating their care. The thoughts were all happy and gave me hope when the dark days of medical school cast a shadow over my upbeat mood, when classes took me down the road of insomnia and gave me a near flat affect from studying more than 12 hours a day during exam time. I guess we all looked like zombies immediately before and after our exams, and some even had the fragrance. 

Once a girlfriend came to visit me and she stayed at a hotel on the beach. I discovered the pleasure of sitting and enjoying a piña colada and having zero thoughts of gluconeogenesis or small, slow-conducting fibers (protopathic). Denise, the Coyaba hotel, and a piña colada were all little lights for a med student who was over 2,000 miles from home.

There are times during my professional life that I once again feel like I’m over 2,000 miles from home. Denise is now married and living in Ohio. Piña coladas have way too many calories. The Coyaba hotel would require more PTO than I’m able to take. I’m sitting at my dining room table as I write this because stepping back into the office would make me feel like I’m still at work. I started to take an evening walk but turned around when a close friend told me how much my article sucked (the one you’re not going to read). He didn’t actually say that it sucked; he just pointed out how opposite of uplifting or encouraging it was and said, “It’s not your best work.” Thank you, “D,” for your honesty.
  

Why would I not be the happiest person you could meet? I have a great job. I am happily single and able to go out and meet a girlfriend for coffee any time I want. I see my beautiful daughter on a regular basis (who is working, doing well in school, and enjoying her youth by spending time with her close friends). My mom survived a hospitalization that nearly took her life in 2013 and has never smoked again (I had taken her home on hospice ten days after she was admitted). Heck, I barely have enough bills to qualify as debt. I should be dancing around the whole Grapevine/Colleyville area. But I’m not.

The strange thing about being there for everyone else is that you sometimes forget to keep a little piece of yourself to enjoy—you just give it all away. Yes, this is a “me” problem. I am the one who picks up the phone when I know the person calling is going to vent for the next 30 minutes, but after 20 years of friendship, you make an effort to still “be there” because that’s what friends do. When your very best friend calls and frantically asks for prayer because the vet is coming to put their horse down (which happened two days ago), how do you not take that call? When your mom wants to tell you about a grandkid she’s concerned about and says the stress is overwhelming, are you going to hang up on her? Another friend tells you they are really concerned because they are still having fatigue and shortness of breath since their heart procedure—and this is one of your health-conscious friends. How can you not feel that? Then there is the job that you love doing, but sadly you do it for 12 hours many days. I find myself on long walks, asking, “Am I missing something?” I wonder if there are elderly patients that I could be helping, or if I’m not fulfilling my calling by now being on the “administrative” side of Medicine.

Long walks, good coffee, and two cats have replaced Denise, the Coyaba, and even the piña colada. As I walk along, I play music from the 80s and 90s and look at all of the different trees—I love the long needle pines the best, they look and smell good. I see the cardinals and the other birds flying around and admire how they know the meaning of commitment. On the weekends I spend hours at the coffee shop with the same few people I’ve been meeting there for years (none of us got COVID-19, and almost everyone is getting vaccinated). They give me a special discount at Buon Giorno, just don’t tell anyone. What? They give everyone that same discount for bringing their thermal mug? I look up at the stars and try to find the big dipper, but I live in Grapevine and, you know, light pollution. I run a hot bath and sit there until it’s barely warm. Netflix holds many fond memories from my COVID-19 nights: Shtisel, Sex and the City, The Crown, Girlfriends . . . I really do make the most of each day and try to laugh as much as I can. It’s just been hard to laugh lately, and I wanted to share in case someone else is also having a hard time laughing, or sleeping, or even folding the laundry.

We are the ones who are there for everyone else. Who is there for us? Though my friends and family can drain the very life force from my body, I want you to know that I am here for you. You have sacrificed so much for others, and your colleagues see you. They care even though you thought they didn’t like you. I am struggling a bit these days, as I suspect many of us are after the year we’ve been through. 

Perhaps this is just my COVID-19 carb crash, but I am ready for this season to end. I am praying; I like to pray. I am even going to church on occasion . . . not that I care for going to church. But my faith has always seen me through the most difficult of times, and I once again find myself reading Joshua 1:9, knowing that He will be with me wherever I go. I am going to put that and a few other verses on the wall behind my laptop as a reminder that He is always with me. I have friends who do not share my faith, my politics, or my taste in music, but we do share the need to connect, to laugh, and to be heard. Thank you for reading my article and for being one of the lights in a sometimes dark place. Call me any time at 817-798-8087 (text first if you actually want me to pick up). We’re all walking through this—let’s do it together. 

TCMS Pediatrician Voted in as TMA President-Elect

Gary Floyd MD picture

Gary W. Floyd, MD, a Fort Worth pediatrician and longtime member of the Tarrant County Medical Society, was elected president-elect of the Texas Medical Association  on Saturday, May 15. TMA’s House of Delegates governing body announced elections during TexMed, the association’s annual conference, held virtually this year due to the pandemic. He will serve in this role for one year before assuming the presidency of America’s largest state medical society in 2022. 

“It’s an incredible privilege and responsibility – and very humbling – for the members of our TMA to elect me to be the spokesperson for our organization,” said Dr. Floyd. “I will never tire of advocating for our patients and our physician members.”

TMA’s president is the organization’s primary voice to external audiences and to physician members – for advocacy and policy efforts, and in news interviews.

Dr. Floyd has been very involved in TMA and other organized medicine organizations throughout his 42-year medical career. He chaired TMA’s Board of Trustees governing body for the past year, having served in that body for seven years. He led the board in a “disaster board” function last year, temporarily acting on urgent business in place of the association’s policymaking body since the pandemic prohibited an in-person House of Delegates meeting. Board members explored a new diversity initiative as well.

“As chair, I led our board to initiate a task force to study equity, diversity, inclusion, and racism,” he said. “I believe our TMA needs to seriously address these issues as we move further into the 21st century.”

Dr. Floyd also was reelected today by the TMA house as a delegate representing Texas in the American Medical Association House of Delegates. He has chaired the TMA Council on Legislation and served on the association’s Council on Constitution and Bylaws, and the Select Committee on Medicaid, CHIP, and the Uninsured. Dr. Floyd also was a district chair of TEXPAC, TMA’s political action committee.

Dr. Floyd has several objectives planned for his presidency next year, which mirror long-term goals of the association.

“My goals include aggressively protecting against intrusions into the practice of medicine by those who have not done the necessary training, in order to protect our patients and unsuspecting citizens in Texas,” he said. He also lists defending Texas’ liability reforms and defending against intrusions into what he calls “the sacred bond” between physicians and their patients. He believes in protecting physicians’ autonomy to make medical decisions with and for their patients. 

The pediatrician assumes the presidency as Texas continues to vaccinate against COVID-19 and return to normalcy in life and patient care.

“I actively practiced pediatrics over 40 years, but with the COVID pandemic, I retired from daily patient care,” he said. He continues to be very involved in medical management and organized medicine, however.

During the pandemic, TMA distributed millions of personal protective equipment masks to Texas physicians. TMA also guided many doctors in adopting telemedicine to remotely care for patients and provided other information and support for physicians to survive and thrive during the pandemic.

Dr. Floyd previously served as president of the Texas Pediatric Society and TCMS, and he was active in the American College of Physician Executives, and the Society for Pediatric Emergency Medicine. He is a fellow and board member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Floyd graduated from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and completed his pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center. He pursued his undergraduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Floyd has practiced in various settings in Texas and Oklahoma including general pediatrics, academic pediatrics, and  pediatric emergency and urgent care, and he has worked in administrative medicine and government affairs. He was the John Peter Smith Health Networks chief medical officer and executive vice president of medical affairs, then executive vice president of government and alumni affairs.

Active in the First Baptist Church of Keller, Dr. Floyd has been married 47 years to Karen Floyd, whom he met when they were in high school. “She is my best, most trusted friend,” he said. The couple has two married daughters, Holly Peterson, married to Ben Peterson, and Neely Pedersen, married to Craig Pedersen, DO, and two grandsons, with another due in October.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 55,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

TMLT offers telemedicine ethics CME

Interested in learning more about the risks and rewards of using telemedicine in your office? This month, TMLT will be hosting an ethics CME on the topic. The seminars will take place on April 20 and 28 and will be streamed live.

You can register here. If you have any questions, call 800-580-8658, ext. 5050.

TMA Advocacy Retreat

Join TMA on Saturday, December 5, for their 2020 advocacy retreat, which will be held virtually.

The retreat meetings will take place between 9am and noon, and will cover TMA’s legislative priorities and strategies for protecting medicine and the doctor-patient relationship.

This is a free event, but please register in advance as there will be a limited number of participants. To register or find out additional information, contact David Wilhelm at david.wilhelm@texmed.org.


Agenda: 
Introductions
Diana L. Fite, MD, President, Texas Medical Association


Public Issue Polling Results
Bryan Eppstein, Founder and CEO, The Eppstein Group


TMA’s Legislative Priorities
Debra Patt, MD, Chair, TMA Council on Legislation


Specialty Society Legislative Priorities Update
Specialty Society Leaders
Moderated by Debra Patt, MD

No Cost COVID-19 Testing in North Texas

Nine DFW clinics are offering drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at no
cost. MD MedicalGroup is offering these nine DFW clinics for testing to further the access for individuals to get the care they need in four different counties in North Texas. They do require that COVID-19 drive-thru patients be screened for flu and strep. “The flu and strep tests will allow us to treat positive cases with antibiotics. We are not only testing, we are also providing treatment to patients that need it.”—Chief Medical Director, Dr. Ana Veronica Rodriguez

Drive-thru testing locations are able to test adults and children, two years and older, while minimizing exposure and reducing demands on hospitals. Clinics will be open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and will be equipped to test 200 individuals daily. They are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and other experts to monitor COVID-19.

To ease traffic and wait times appointments are required. Same day appointments are available—call or text us at 1-888-776-5252, Monday to Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Drive-thru testing locations:

Dallas County
• MD Family Clinic- 2636 W Walnut St. Garland, TX 75042
• MD Family Clinic- 9991 Marsh Ln. #100 Dallas, TX 75220
• MD Family Clinic- 1111 S Irving Heights Dr, Irving, TX 75060
• MD Family Clinic- 9709 Bruton Rd. Dallas, TX 75217
• MD Kids Pediatrics- 3201 W. Saner Ave. Dallas, TX 75233
• Clinicas Mi Doctor- 410 E Pioneer Pkwy #300, Grand Prairie, TX 75051

Collin County
• MD Kids Pediatrics- 7800 Preston Rd. #300 Plano, TX 75024

Tarrant County
• Clinicas Mi Doctor- 4200 South Fwy. #106, Fort Worth, TX 76115

Denton County
• Clinicas Mi Doctor- 701 S Stemmons Fwy, Lewisville, TX 75067

\Individuals can call or text us at 1-888-776-5252. A list of services, hours, and locations are available online at www.mdmedicalgroup.us. Established and new patients can securely and conveniently schedule an appointment online at https://mdmedicalgroup.us/request-an-appointment/. Several clinics offer extended and weekend hours for all other sick and well visits. Patients are encouraged to continue to visit us for chronic conditions, prescription refills, and for preventative care—well visits and vaccines.

Testing location updates and information will be available on their website www.mdmedicalgroup.us and on their social media pages: @mdmedicalgroup

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