I have been quiet for the past several weeks on the issue of the joint M.D. degree plan for UNTHSC. Initially, I had some strong feelings and made them known. I have read all of your letters, all of the information that has been gathered and the information and rationalization from Dr. Ransom. I have not changed my mind from my first reaction.
There is nothing to be gained for the osteopathic profession, the people of the State of Texas, the school or our graduates in pursuing this course. Those resources that are now limited will only be further strained by being made to cover two programs. Osteopathic physicians, and especially TCOM graduates, have provided more primary care to the citizens of Texas proportionately than all the MD programs combined. The changes anticipated for medicine will rely even more heavily on primary care physicians. If we don’t have those doctors available, it leaves the door open for justifying the use of physician extenders to provide that care. This is something even the MD’s would not like to see happening.