In the past five years the Licensure Division of the Texas Medical Board has issued 21,615 physician licenses. Now that number is just a small portion of what the Licensure staff accomplished in those same five years. This same group of folks licenses or issues permits to other health related professionals such as Physician Assistants, Acupuncturists, Surgical Assistants, Physicians in Training, Visiting Physicians, Faculty Temporary Licenses, Visiting Professors, Conceded Eminence physicians, Medical Radiologic Technicians, Medical Physicists, Perfusionists, Respiratory Care Practitioners and Non-Profit Health Organizations.
Back in the day, 1985 to 2010 we didn’t have quite this many license or permit types. I cannot even imagine how an analyst keeps it all straight. Physicians are not easy to license, there are no two docs that are the same for sure. And when you add on all of these other license types and the complexity that goes with each group it is a wonder that the Licensure staff stays on track – but they do – and they do it quite well, but it takes time.
When physicians seeking licensure ask me why Texas is so hard to get a license in I just laughed and say it’s not – it just takes time. You cannot ask a staff the size of the licensure department at the Texas Medical Board to possibly rush through all of these license types – they all take time. Each license or permit type comes with its own set of laws and rules and keeping all of that straight is a headache.
So physicians if you would like to see the medical board perhaps return to taking care of their primary mission – the licensing, registration and discipline of physicians you have an opportunity in the upcoming legislative session. If you are interested in helping solve the issues of licensure I urge you to contact the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Osteopathic Association and get them on the case of getting the Texas Medical Board back to their roots.