Tribpedia: Texas Medical Board

The Texas Medical Board licenses, regulates and disciplines doctors practicing in the state.

The 12 physician members and seven public members are appointed for six-year terms by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. The board must meet at least four times a year to interview licensure candidates, consider disciplinary matters and adopt procedural rules.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 11/21/11

Root and Tan on the restoration of the Governor's Mansion and on the Perrys' expensive replacement digs, E. Smith's TribLive interview with three freshman legislators in El Paso, M. Smith on tough financial standards for local school districts, Ramshaw and Murphy on Texas docs paid by drug companies, yours truly on new congressional and legislative redistricting maps, Hamilton on the biggest competitive endeavor in Brownsville's schools and Aguilar on how border mayors feel about military equipment in their cities: The best of our best content from November 21 to 25, 2011.

Former state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, on the Texas House floor in 2007
Former state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, on the Texas House floor in 2007

Did Lawmaker Access Private Records to Help Donors?

In the closing days of his last term in the Texas House, former state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, used his legislative authority to obtain confidential records from the Texas Medical Board, The Texas Tribune has learned. His reason? To defend doctors who he believes were wrongly the subjects of misconduct investigations by the board, which licenses the state's physicians.

Some Medicaid Doctors Rely Heavily On Potent Drugs

A Houston psychiatrist who uses clinically controversial brain scans to diagnose everything from anxiety to marital discord. A Plano music therapist who believes his Peruvian pan flute tunes cure mental illness. And a Beaumont child psychologist reprimanded for continuing to prescribe to a proven drug abuser. These physicians have written more prescriptions for potent antipsychotic drugs to the state’s neediest patients than any other doctors in Texas.

Family nurse practitioner Jean Gisler at her office in Victoria, Texas.
Family nurse practitioner Jean Gisler at her office in Victoria, Texas.

Nurse Practitioners Want Less Doctor Oversight

In Texas, nurse practitioners’ livelihoods are tied to physicians: By law, they can’t treat patients without a doctor’s permission. That means if they want to open their own practice, they must petition, and pay, a doctor to grant them “prescriptive authority” — to essentially keep an eye on their work and, in some cases, to be held liable for it. Doctors say this is as it should be. Nurse practitioners and their allies say doctors don't want the competition and charge them enough to run them out of business. “It borders on an immoral situation,” says state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center.