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Despite additional dollars, doctor shortage hard to fix

The Texas Tribune, August 23, 2013

Texas lawmakers invested millions of additional dollars in the 2013 legislative session to address a looming physician shortage. Voters and university regents have rubber-stamped plans to open two new medical schools, in Austin and the Rio Grande Valley. But those moves have not placated the medical community, which remains concerned that Texas has no long-term solution to produce enough physicians, particularly in primary care, to support the surging population. Texas taxpayers already spend $168,000 educating each of the state?s medical students. For graduated medical students, the state will pay $32.8 million to finance nearly 6,500 medical residency positions in 2014-15. But beginning in 2014, there will be more graduating medical students in Texas than first-year residency slots available in the state, according to a 2012 report by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.