Texas Ranks Near the Top in U.S. Physician Recruitment

Pattern Reverses Disastrous Declines of Liability Crisis Years

Dec 02, 2015, 10:00 ET from Texas Alliance for Patient Access

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Texas is among the nation's leaders in attracting physicians to practice here.

A new report finds the Lone Star State ranked second nationally in attracting the most physicians and fifth in percentage growth among physicians who treat patients. The U.S. has added slightly more than 40,000 patient care physicians in the past two years. Remarkably, nearly one in 10 of those new physicians is now practicing in Texas.

"That's good news for Texans and the growing number of us who need that expert physician care," said Austin internist, Dr. Howard Marcus, the chairman of Texas Alliance for Patient Access.

California outpaced Texas for the national lead in raw numbers of new patient care physicians. However, Texas bested California in per-capita physician growth.

These are among the findings in a just-released study by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The AAMC Data Book measures physician supply in all fifty states. Many consider the biennial AAMC report the best source for measuring physician supply since it counts only doctors engaged in direct patient care. Excluded from the AAMC physician tally are those primarily engaged in administration, teaching or research.

The just-released 2015 Association of American Colleges report focuses its study from 2012-2014.

The AAMC has produced its national study every other year since 2008. During that period, Texas has ranked second nationally both in percentage growth and in attracting the most physicians who treat patients.

Texas attracted nearly as many active patient care physicians as Florida and New York combined, said Dr. Marcus. "Texas has effective medical lawsuit reforms. Florida and New York do not," Marcus said.

Only Utah saw its physician workforce grow at a greater rate since 2008. Colorado, Arizona and North Dakota filled out the top five.

Texas' per-capita physician growth ranked in the top half from 2008-2014, exceeding New York, California, North Carolina and Maryland among others.

"These numbers are a far cry from the early 2000's," said Dr. Marcus, "when the state experienced a per-capita loss of patient care physicians.

"Back then, the Texas medical liability landscape had become a sinkhole. Nearly half of the high-risk specialists in the state had restricted their practice, and thousands of Texas physicians stopped taking emergency call out of fear that it would make them vulnerable to a spurious lawsuit," he said.

Association of American Medical Colleges
Active Patient Care Physicians

Raw Growth

  1. California   4,617
  2. Texas   3,842
  3. Florida   3,103
  4. New York   2,225
  5. Massachusetts   2,032

 Percentage Growth

  1. Utah   9.65%
  2. Massachusetts   9.43%
  3. Rhode Island   8.87%
  4. Colorado   8.55%
  5. Texas   8.07%

*Most current time frame for which comparative data is available on active patient care physicians.

Association of American Medical Colleges
Active Patient Care Physicians

Raw Growth

  1. California   10,083
  2. Texas   8,781
  3. Florida   5,324
  4. New York   3,705
  5. Pennsylvania   3,187

Percentage Growth

  1. Utah   23.75%
  2. Texas   20.59%
  3. Colorado   18.98%
  4. Arizona   17.77%
  5. North Dakota   17.45%

Jon Opelt
Executive Director
Texas Alliance For Patient Access
2301 S. Capital of Texas Highway, J-101
Austin, Texas 78746
Office: (512) 703-2156

SOURCE Texas Alliance for Patient Access