Texas physicians should be aware that over the next two months the Texas Medical Board plans to host several public meetings in various locations throughout the state. The Town Hall-style events seem to be a positive response to recent criticism that the Board spends too much time pursuing minor disciplinary matters and fails to adequately educate physicians and credentialing entities on what the TMB is looking for as part of the application process. In fact, Board President Dr. Roberta Kalafut is quoted in the press release (a link to which can be found below) as recognizing that “the impressions we have as regulators may not mirror the impressions of licensees.”
As an attempt at meaningful public dialogue, the Texas Medical Board’s Town Hall program should be seen as a positive initiative. This type of outreach is needed after a year that saw the resignation of Executive Director Donald Patrick amid cries of conflict of interest, a lawsuit filed by attorneys for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and widespread questioning directed at the Board’s at times overly zealous prosecution of minor regulatory infractions. Acknowledging and acting on public criticism can do a lot for repairing trust between the Board and Texas doctors.
The meetings will also include a seminar program designed to guide recruiting and credentialing entities through the application process as it relates to the Texas Medical Practice Act. The press release which includes dates and locations for each meeting can be found at the link below.