With a population growing more than twice as fast as the national average – and people living longer and experiencing more chronic illness – the demand for health care has never been greater. Unfortunately, Texas has too few physicians to meet the health care needs of its growing population.

The state has well-document shortages of primary care physicians and other specialists, including psychiatrists. More than 80 percent of Texas counties are designated as mental health professional shortage areas, and about 40 percent of Texas counties’ primary care health needs are not currently being met. Shortages of nurses and allied health professionals contribute to this problem.

The Texas Legislature has invested significant funds to increase the size of the health care workforce in Texas, but continued investment is required to combat the severe shortage of physicians, nurses and other health care professionals.

Growing the health care workforce, including the number of behavioral health professionals, in Texas is a top priority for the Texas Hospital Association.

Staff Vacancies Result in Reduced Services

Soaring Staff Vacancies Result in Reduced Hospital Services

While health care workforce shortages existed long before COVID-19, the pandemic acutely impacted the people who provide care inside the walls of hospitals – from burnout and fatigue to leaving the profession altogether. The pandemic exacerbated the situation, and Texas hospitals are now in an unsustainable workforce crisis that threatens hospitals’ ability to care for Texans.

Graduate Medical Education

The formal education of a physician begins with an undergraduate degree and ends with a residency or fellowship. Graduate medical education, or GME, is critical clinical education that follows the completion of medical school. This document explains the importance of continued state and federal investment in that training and provides an overview of the sources and limits of their investment.

Related Articles

COVID-19 in Texas Hospitals: Three Years Later

COVID-19 in Texas Hospitals: Three Years Later

Amy RiosMar 21, 20238 min read

This month marks three years since the COVID-19 pandemic irrevocably changed the health care landscape. On March 13, 2020, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for all Texas…

The Workforce Problem

The Workforce Problem

Minh LyMar 16, 20235 min read

Understanding the depth of today’s hospital workforce problems requires understanding that they didn’t start with the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike many societal issues that COVID-19 seemed to foster from scratch, workforce…

Remaining Resilient in Health Care

Remaining Resilient in Health Care

Amy RiosMar 14, 20238 min read

We’ve all heard it: the perfunctory instructions given by flight attendants before a plane’s departure. Amid demonstrations of the aircraft’s safety features and what to do if there is a…

Reeling in Rural Texas

Reeling in Rural Texas

Joey BerlinFeb 28, 20238 min read

Three times during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dimmit Regional Hospital came close to taking out a loan just to make payroll. One of those times, the Carrizo Springs facility – tucked…