Before Babies Are Born, This Surgeon Operates On Them

The best place for a baby to recover from surgery is the womb. So, when fetuses need surgery, the best place to operate is in utero. Dallas is home to one of the top fetal surgeons in the country, Dr. Timothy Crombleholme, who opened The Fetal Care Center at Medical City Dallas this summer. Shawn Shinneman’s October D Magazine piece chronicles Crombleholme’s path to Dallas, the development of fetal surgery locally, and the story of a North Texas family whose twin children required an operation while they were inside their mother’s womb. The Fetal Care Center is just one of… Full Story

M.D. Anderson’s Dr. James Allison Awarded Nobel Prize

Houston can call one of its top physicians a Nobel Prize winner. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Dr. James P. Allison won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his breakthrough cancer research this week, the New York Times reports. Allison, 70, worked toward aiding the immune system’s ability to attack cancer by suppressing the proteins that resist the immune’s system’s ability to fight cancer cells. Normally, cancer treatment involves three plans of attack: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But the Nobel committee at the Karolinska Institute called Allison’s immune system treatment “an entirely new principle for cancer therapy,” according… Full Story

Survey: Texas Physicians Are Among The Most Likely To Be In Private Practice

Adding another statistic here from the Merritt Hawkins study we tipped to earlier this month. The company worked with The Physicians Foundation to survey 8,774 physicians about their practice and morale. Texas has the 7th-highest rate of private practice physicians in the country, at 40.1 percent. The national average is 29 percent. Here are the top 10 states for private practice physicians: Nevada (47.8 %) Georgia (47.1%) Louisiana (45.5%) Connecticut (43.4%) Hawaii (41.9%) Mississippi (41.4%) Texas (40.1%) Tennessee (39.9%) New Jersey (38.4 %) South Dakota (36.8%) The state with the lowest percentage of physicians was North Dakota at 12.5 percent.

Susan G. Komen To Fund $600,000 Grant For Breast Cancer Research At UTSW

Dr. Carlos Arteaga of UT Southwestern Medical Center is the recipient of a $600,000 Susan G. Komen organization research grant that will help him improve precision in breast cancer treatment while preventing drug resistance. Arteaga serves as the Director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and Associate Dean of Oncology Programs at UT Southwestern. While 90 percent of breast cancer patients survive for 5 years, more than 40,000 women still die from the disease each year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. According to the Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin journal, 90 percent of failures in chemotherapy… Full Story

Survey: Physician Morale In Texas Is Among the Lowest In The U.S.

This week, Dallas-based Merritt Hawkins put out the results of the survey it conducted on behalf of The Physicians Foundation. The survey covers 8,774 physicians. One item that continues to stick out on these yearly reports: Physician morale here in Texas is exceptionally low. Just 36 percent of respondents in Texas said their professional morale is very or somewhat positive (the rest say it is very or somewhat negative). That ranks 45th in the U.S. Here are the lowest 10 states for morale: 50. Alaska (23%) 49. Wyoming (23.1%) 48. New Mexico (30.7%) 47. Hawaii (34.9%) 46. North Carolina (35.3%)… Full Story

Texas Medical Board Suspends The License Of a Frisco Doc

Dr. John Carl Ferrell’s license has been temporarily suspended, without notice, by the Texas Medical Board. The TMB says in a news release Monday afternoon that Ferrell was arrested for possessing illegal substances. Evidence also revealed that “he was writing prescriptions for controlled substances to a patient with whom he had a close, personal relationship for periods in excess of 72 hours, and that he was prescribing large amounts of controlled substances including opioids, benzodiazepines, Soma, amphetamines, and testosterone to individual patients at one or more clinics in the Frisco, Texas area, the release says. The suspension landed, effective immediately,… Full Story

Two UT Southwestern Faculty Members Receive Endocrine Society Laureate Awards

A couple of UT Southwestern Medical Center faculty members learned this week that they’re winners of heralded Laureate Awards from the Endocrine Society. Dr. Helen Hobbs, director of the Eugene Mcdermott Center for Human Growth and Development, takes home the 2019 Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Translational Research. It’s the latest in a very decorated stretch for Hobbs, whose work led to the development of a new class of drugs for treating high cholesterol by identifying how certain genetic variants impact cardiometabolic health. Carole Mendelson, a professor of biochemistry and obstetrics and gynecology, receives the Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished… Full Story

Lunch With… Parkland Chief Medical Officer Roberto de la Cruz

Roberto de la Cruz is a Parkland Health & Hospital System “boomerang,” as he calls it. He worked his way up to associate medical director at a Parkland clinic, and then departed for Baylor University Medical Center in 2000, where he spent the next decade and a half. But de la Cruz would eventually make it back to Parkland, and in 2015, he was named the system’s chief medical officer. For the September issue of D CEO, de la Cruz and I met for lunch at Ascension at The Crescent, where we talked about his career and, mostly, about Hurricane… Full Story

Gary Tigges Resigns From Leadership Roles at Texas Health Plano Following Comments In Dallas Medical Journal

Dr. Gary Tigges, who made national news in recent days after his comments that female doctors “do not work as hard,” has resigned from his leadership positions at Texas Health Plano, the hospital’s president told staff on Wednesday. Texas Health Plano President Josh Floren wrote in an internal memo that the executive committee of the hospital’s medical board accepted Tigges’ resignation on Tuesday. Tigges had been serving on the medical board since 1999 and was the current chair of the hospital’s credentialing committee. He steps down from both positions. “This past weekend we learned of comments that Dr. Gary Tigges… Full Story

Plano Doctor’s Comments on Gender Pay Gap, and His Apparent Twitter History, Come To Light

Over the weekend, comments from a Plano doctor published in the most recent issue of the Dallas Medical Journal elicited far and wide criticism on social media. Answering a question about the gender pay gap among physicians, Dr. Gary Tigges, an internal medicine doc who has a practice in Plano, said the following: Yes, there is a pay gap. Female physicians do not work as hard and do not see as many patients as male physicians. This is because they choose to, or they simply don’t want to be rushed, or they don’t want to work the long hours. Most… Full Story