Flood of new MDs overwhelms TX board

Texas's new limits on medical malpractice awards has triggered a substantial migration of doctors into the state, overwhelming the state medical board and slowing down the process of screening newly-arriving physicians. These days, the Texas Medical Board is so bogged down that some doctors must wait months before they can actually begin seeing patients. In 2006, the board received 4,000 applications for medical licenses, a huge increase over the 2,992 it got last year. That has led to a backlog of almost 2,400 applications.

To speed things up, state legislators have approved funds to hire six more employees to process applications. It also has hired temporary workers and is paying overtime. Still, in some cases it takes more than six months to process an application, which includes verifying an applicant's medical education and doing a criminal background check. Insiders say it could be a year or more before the screening backlog goes away.

To find out more about the Texas MD licensing backlog:
- read this Associated Press article

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