If you are a Dallas-area physician and not yet a member of the Dallas County Medical Society, we invite you to join approximately 80% of your colleagues who are members and who rank among the 50,000 Texas physicians in the Texas Medical Association. The Society provides services, programs and activities designed to meet the professional and personal needs of member physicians, and it strives to maintain a pro-active member-driven approach in service to the profession and the community.
To be eligible for membership in DCMS 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 resident/fellow in training at a certified teaching institution
- 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."
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What do I do if I am relocating within Texas?
Send a written request to DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail email@example.com requesting a transfer of your membership to the medical society of the county to which you are relocating. Upon receipt of request, a transfer form will be sent to TMA. TMA will send you a copy of your original application and an addendum application for you to complete and send to your new county medical society. You have 6 months to complete the transfer after you have relocated, or your membership will cease.
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.
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What action do I take if I am relocating outside Texas?
Send a letter of resignation to DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, or fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We will notify TMA. Please include the telephone number and address of your new location so former patients who call DCMS may contact your office. You may request a letter of good standing for the society to which you will be applying.
What do I do with my records if I am relocating?
If you are relocating your practice but want your Dallas patients to have access to their records, it is best to write all active patients and inform them where they can get their records. You may have another physician keep them or may make another arrangement, but please notify DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail email@example.com of the procedure your patients should use to locate their records. This notification may be given when you request transfer or resignation.
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Leave of Absence
When would I be eligible for a leave of absence?
DCMS may grant a leave of absence for a period of 1 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 in writing to DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, stating the name of the institution, specialty, and inclusive dates of training.
- Service as a missionary outside the United States — Send request in writing to DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail email@example.com, stating where and for how long you will be doing missionary work.
- Temporary service in the U.S. armed forces — Send request in writing to DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, stating the branch of the service and dates of service. For temporary civilian service outside the United States, send request in writing to DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail email@example.com, requesting a 1-year leave while temporarily out of state serving in a nonclerical or administrative position.
- Sick leave — Send request in writing to DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, concerning your illness.
- Sabbatical leave — Send request in writing to DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail email@example.com, requesting a 1-year leave while temporarily out of state.
- Family leave — Send request in writing to DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, if 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 DCMS in writing at DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805 or e-mail email@example.com 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.
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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 United States. Affiliate members hold direct memberships in TMA and are not members of DCMS. To qualify for this membership type, you must do the following:
- Maintain a current Texas medical license AND within 6 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 (in-state 800-880-1300) and notify the DCMS Membership Department at PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org that you will be relocating and resigning your DCMS membership.
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What action do I take if I am retiring from active practice?
Notify DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail email@example.com in writing when you have set a date of retirement. The DCMS 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. If you are an AMA member, a portion of your dues to the AMA may be required, depending on your age. You will be billed directly by 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. The rules are the same as those for retired membership.
You will receive a letter from DCMS confirming your nomination, and after your election to retired status, TMA will notify you.
For more information view the Checklist for Closing a Practice, Retiring, or Selling a Practice.
How long must I keep my medical records?
Please inform DCMS where your patients' records will be stored to help patients who call the DCMS office for assistance. This 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 record documenting or memorializing the medical history, diagnosis, and treatment for each patient.
A licensed physician should maintain adequate medical records of a patient for a minimum of 7 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 medical records of the patient should be maintained by the physician 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.
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What medical agencies need my address changes?
You must provide the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners with your current address. The board can be reached at:
Texas State Board of Medical Examiners
PO Box 149134
Austin, TX 78714-9134
1-800-248-4062 or 512-305-7010
You should also notify DCMS in writing of your old and new address at DCMS, PO Box 4680, Dallas, TX 75208, fax to 214-946-5805, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. DCMS will notify TMA and AMA.
Also notify hospitals, specialty societies, referring physicians, professional journals, financial institutions, utility companies, suppliers, labs, attorneys, and accountants.
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