Leave of Absence
Physician ID Badges
If you are an Austin-area physician and not yet a member of the Travis County Medical Society, we invite you to join your colleagues who are members and who rank among the 4,000 physicians in the Travis County Medical Society. The Society provides services, programs and activities designed to meet the professional and personal needs of member physicians, and it strives to maintain a proactive, member-driven approach in service to the profession and the community.
To be eligible for membership in TCMS and TMA, an individual must be one of the following:
•A physician holding the degree of Doctor of Medicine and/or Doctor of Osteopathy.
•A full-time student who is pursuing a course of study in a medical school in Texas recognized by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners leading to the degree of Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy.
•A dean of one of these medical schools or a president of a health science center (provided he/she holds a doctoral degree) of which one or more of these medical schools is a component school.
In addition, all members must subscribe to the Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association, and must not hold themselves out as practitioners of sectarian medicine. Also, with the exception of a few specific categories of membership, all physician members must be licensed to practice medicine in Texas, in which case a temporary license, certificate or permit "shall not be deemed adequate."
What do I do if I am relocating within Texas?
Send a written request to TCMS Director of Membership Remmy Morris at email@example.com requesting a transfer of your membership indicating the County Medical Society where you have been a member. Include your new practice and residence information if available. Upon receipt of your request, a transfer form will be sent to TMA on your behalf. You will receive a letter from TMA notifying you that your membership transfer is complete and a letter from TCMS welcoming you as a member.
What do I do if I am moving from TCMS to another county within Texas?
Send a written request to TCMS Director of Membership Remmy Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org requesting a transfer of your membership and include the name of the county medical society where you will be relocating. Please include the telephone number and address of your new location and the location where former patients can access their medical records. Upon receipt of your request, a transfer form will be sent to TMA on your behalf and you will receive a letter notifying you that your membership transfer is complete.
Do I have to pay additional dues?
If you have paid the current year's dues in your present county, no additional dues for the year will be required. If you have not paid the current year's dues, you will need to pay full-year dues before transferring.
What action do I take if I am relocating outside Texas?
Send a letter of resignation to TCMS Director of Membership Remmy Morris at email@example.com, who will notify TMA. Please include the telephone number and address of your new location and the location where former patients can access their medical records so that TCMS can assist them if they call our office.
What do I do with my records if I am relocating?
TCMS can provide assistance with storage and disposal of medical records and EHR through the TCMS Document and Data Services. Contact Diane Naishtat at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-206-1249 for more information. You may leave them with another physician or make other arrangements; whatever you choose, please notify TCMS Director of Membership Remmy Morris at email@example.com, of the procedure your patients should use to locate their records so that we may help them when they call the Society offices. You will also want to write all active patients and inform them of where they can get their records.
What if I am moving out of state and I want to keep my TMA insurance?
You may request status as an affiliate member. Affiliate membership is available to regular, military, intern and resident members in good standing in the US. Affiliate members hold direct memberships in TMA and are not members of TCMS. To qualify for this membership type, you must do the following:
Maintain a current Texas medical license and, within six months of relocation, join a county and state medical association, and present evidence of good standing at the time of application and each year at the time of annual TMA dues billing.
To apply for affiliate membership, call the TMA Membership Department at 512-370-1300 and notify the TCMS Membership Department that you will be relocating and resigning your TCMS membership.
Leave of Absence
When would I be eligible for a leave of absence?
To be granted a leave of absence for any of the following reasons, send a written request to TCMS Director of Membership Remmy Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org. TCMS may grant a leave of absence for a period of one year or more for members who leave the active practice of medicine for any of the following reasons:
•Further training in an approved internship or residency. Send request stating the name of the institution, specialty, and inclusive dates of training.
•Service as a missionary outside the United States. Send request stating where and for how long you will be doing missionary work.
•Temporary service in the U.S. armed forces. Send request stating the branch of the service and dates of service. For temporary civilian service outside the United States, request a one-year leave while temporarily out of state serving in a non-clerical or administrative position.
•Sick leave. Send request stating your illness.
•Sabbatical leave. Send request stating purpose of one-year leave while temporarily out of state.
•Family leave. Send request stating that you are on maternity leave or are staying home with children or other family members.
What do I do when I have completed my leave of absence?
Notify TCMS Director of Membership Remmy Morris at email@example.com in writing of the date you will complete your training, missionary work, military service, civilian service or family leave, or have recovered your health and are returning to practice. If you are returning to practice, you must pay the balance of active dues for the current year.
What action do I take if I am retiring from active practice?
Notify TCMS in writing when you have set a date of retirement. The TCMS board of directors then will nominate you to retired status. The TMA House of Delegates then may elect you to retired status if you are eligible according to TMA bylaws. If you will retire before March 1 and have paid dues for the past year, you will not have to pay dues for the current year. If you retire after March 1, the current year's dues will be required.
Retired members do not pay dues but have all the privileges of membership, except the right to vote, hold office, or serve as a delegate or alternate delegate to the TMA or AMA.
Life membership is available to physicians who have been dues-paying members of organized medicine for 35 years, of which 25 years must have been dues-paying years in TMA and its component county societies, and who are practicing less than 50 percent of the time. You will receive a letter from TCMS confirming your nomination, and after your election to retired status, TMA will notify you.
How long must I keep my medical records?
Please inform TCMS of any information concerning where your patients' records will be stored to help patients who call the TCMS office for information, the information will be put in your file, along with any information about who will be taking over your practice.
The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners has established the length of time patient records must be maintained. Each licensed physician should maintain an adequate medical record documenting or memorializing the history, diagnosis and treatment for each patient.
A licensed physician should maintain adequate medical records of a patient for a minimum of seven years from the anniversary date of the last treatment by the physician.
If a patient was younger than 18 when last treated by the physician, the physician should maintain the patient’s medical records until the patient reaches 21.
A physician may not destroy medical records that relate to any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding if the physician knows the proceeding has not been resolved. Physicians should retain medical records longer than the length of time imposed if mandated by other federal or state statute or regulation.
Physician ID Badges
Physicians can obtain a multi-facility, identification badge through the Travis County Medical Society located on the 2nd floor of The Blood Center building at 4300 N Lamar. Badges are made Monday-Friday from 9 am-4 pm. No appointment necessary.
In order to have an ID badge made, you must have a Texas medical license, bring proof of identification and have a recent photo on file. A photo can be emailed in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can have a digital photo taken while at TCMS. The entire process takes approximately 10-15 minutes.
ID badge information is forwarded to area facilities and activated within 24 hours based on where you have privileges. TCMS does not control activation of the badges, but should be contacted with any problems.
Cost per badge is $25 for a new or replacement badge (limit 2 per physician); $20 for residents. Pay by credit card, check, cash, or we can invoice your practice.
If a badge is lost or stolen, contact the Society at 512-206-1252 to have the badge deactivated and then come by the Society to purchase a replacement as soon as possible.
Note: Your ID badge should be worn at all times. Do not leave badge in a hot car or in direct sunlight for an extended amount of time.
For additional questions or problems with badge access, contact Membership Director Remmy Morris at email@example.com or at 512-206-1252 for questions.
What medical agencies need my address changes?
You must provide the Texas Medical Board with your current address.
You should also notify TCMS Director of Membership Remmy Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org of your old and new address. TCMS will notify TMA.