Senator Nelson Files SB 18 To Expand Graduate Medical Education

February 11, 2015

Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today filed SB 18 to address Texas' medical workforce needs by expanding graduate medical education (GME).

"Texas needs to grow its health care workforce in order to keep up with the needs of our growing population. Access to quality health care depends on a strong workforce. This bill will establish a permanent endowment to support graduate medical education today and in the future, and will bring us closer to our goal of one residency spot for every Texas medical school graduate as well as attract physicians from other states to Texas," Senator Nelson said. 

SB 2, the Senate's proposed budget filed by Senator Nelson, increases funding for GME by $60 million over the biennium. Those funds will be spent in accordance with the priorities laid out in SB 18 as follows:

  • Critical Shortage Physician Program: Create a new program at the Higher Education Coordinating Board to incentivize teaching hospitals to create and maintain residency programs for physicians in high demand across the state.  Experts would recommend which areas are "critical shortages."
  • Expand Family Care Residency and restore Primary Care Residency Programs: Increase funding of existing programs at the Higher Education Coordinating Board to increase the number of family and primary care doctors in the state, especially in rural and high need communities.
  • Teaching Health Center GME Program: Create a new program to establish community-based primary care training programs, which will help address physician shortfalls in rural and underserved areas. 
  • Planning Grants Partnership: Expand the planning grant program so that community health clinics and rural health centers can create new residency programs, with guidance from established residency programs. 
  • Family Practice Development Center: Ensure proper training so we have qualified faculty to teach residents. 


SB 18 also creates an endowment of $300 million to continue supporting graduate medical education. The funds will come through the dissolution of the Texas Medical Liability Joint Underwriting Association, as recommended in a report released by the Legislative Budget Board.