UTHCT conference gives family medicine physicians opportunities to keep up with the latest treatments

Friday, February 3, 2006

As the number of medical students choosing careers as general practitioners decreases, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler continues to provide physicians for East Texas through its Family Medicine Residency Program.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, and Sunday, Feb. 5, UT Health Science Center will sponsor “Current Trends in Family Medicine” at the Holiday Inn Select, 5701 S. Broadway in Tyler. Conference sessions will tackle topics including diabetes management, the latest treatments to lower blood pressure, sleep apnea, and pain management. The conference is designed for physicians, mid-level practitioners, and nurses, with continuing education credits available for nurses and physicians.

Dr. Richard Viken, chairman of the Department of Family Medicine, and Gerald Brown, a certified physician assistant in the Department of Medicine, will be on hand Saturday to talk about the importance of having well-informed and dedicated family doctors in East Texas. They can offer insight into the challenges that family medicine physicians face and what UT Health Science Center is doing to support them, including conferences such as this one.

A recent report by the American College of Physicians said the U.S. system of primary care and family medicine physicians is under strain. Because of decreasing incomes, soaring bills, and new policies from insurers that encourage rushed office visits and require increased amounts of paperwork, more general physicians are retiring than are graduating from medical school.

Directors for the conference are Dr. Viken, Brown, and Dr. Sam Raborn, a graduate of UTHSCT’s Family Medicine Residency Program, now medical director of the ETMC Chandler Physicians Clinic. The conference begins at 8 a.m. both days, continuing until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and until noon on Sunday.

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