NTX Magazine Volume 9 - Page 66

MAGNET FOR MEDICINE MAGNET FOR MEDICINE PHYSICIANS ATTRACTED TO NORTH TEXAS North Texas is a rapidly growing region. According to Profile of North Texas 2018, a publication of the North Texas Commission, the 13-county region adds one person every 3.6 minutes. That’s 16 people an hour, 401 people a day, 2,812 a week – all of whom need medical care, and many of whom are physicians themselves. Why is that? What draws medical professionals to this area, and, most importantly, what keeps them here? North Texas is an attractive mix of economy, people, education, communities and medical innovation that put the area at the top of many physicians’ location list. THE DOCTOR IS IN...NORTH TEXAS According to the Texas State Medical Board, there were 77,034 actively licensed physicians in Texas as of January 2018. More than 22 percent of these physicians – 17,431 – practice in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It starts at the beginning of their careers, notes W. Stephen Love, president and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, a trade organization of 90 area hospitals. “North Texas has been blessed with good medical schools, and physicians want to go to good medical schools,” Love explains. “Many people don’t realize that physicians often set up their permanent practice close to where they do their residencies. So, we strive to have as many resident spots as possible to retain them.” In its second annual Physician Compensation Report, physician network Doximity named the North Texas area 64 WWW.NTC-DFW.ORG SUMMER 2018 as a financially favorable place to practice medicine. In fact, it ranked eighth highest among the 65,000 licensed U.S. physicians whose compensation figured into the report and was the only Texas market to make the top 10. Doximity reported that physicians in this market make, on average, $371,398 annually. “There are multiple reasons why North Texas is a great place for physicians to practice,” said Paul Hain, M.D., North Texas market president for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. “We have a very thriving independent physician community, which is not true everywhere in the country. Physicians value their Paul Hain, M.D. independence and call the shots in their own business. They like to pick the best place to refer admission of their own patients and, here, they are able to do that.” SPACE TO GROW A PRACTICE The demographics in North Texas are also appealing to many physicians, noted several local experts. A growing economy means available healthcare dollars and the infrastructure to support excellent delivery of care. A $511 billion GDP for the region, which boasts a diverse economy made up of industries including energy, aviation, financial, real estate, technology, manufacturing and logistics, just to name a few, means the North Texas economy is a substantial and diverse one. A job growth rate of 2.8 percent and a mantel as the fourth-fastest- growing region in the U.S. paint a picture of an economy keeping pace with its rapid growth. Within the healthcare industry itself, 5,400 jobs are added each year and $52 billion is the gross spend on medical services. North Texas has the dollars, and it’s willing to spend them. “The demographics here in North Texas – when you look at the growth and the economy, it’s very good,” Love said. “It’s an excellent place for physicians to practice, whether they are primary care or specialists.” Walter Gaman, M.D., managing partner of Healthcare Associates of Texas, is a Board Certified Family Physician who uses a popular Texas expression when discussing his history. “I’m not a native Texan – but I got here as fast as I could,” he jokes, as he notes that his 31-year experience in North Texas has proven it to be a good place to practice. “Texas is a very satisfying place to practice medicine,” Dr. Gaman explains. “For example, I’m a senior manager of a large group. Many years ago, we decided to put SUMMER 2018 WWW.NTC-DFW.ORG 65