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The CDC recognizes antibiotic resistance as a global health threat. Appropriate antimicrobial practices are necessary to curb the rates of antimicrobial resistance. Providers practicing along the Texas-Mexico border have unique pressures, including increased access to antibiotics in Mexico. The majority of surveyed providers strongly agree antibiotic resistance is an issue in the United States (76%), in the Rio Grande Valley (67%), and in their local hospital (38%). 42% strongly agreed that have seen an increase in antibiotic resistant infections in their patients for the past 5 years. 56% also strongly agreed inappropriate antibiotic use accelerates antibiotic-resistant organisms. 20% of the providers have received high pressure from patients or parents to prescribe antibiotics.

39% and 50% of the physicians and non-physicians, respectively, weigh the potential benefits versus harm before initiating antibiotic therapy for 100% of their patients. However, only 26% and 40% of the physician and non-physician groups, respectively, use evidence-based medicine to select appropriate antibiotic therapy for all their patients. About 40% collect appropriate cultures before starting antibiotics (39% physicians, 40% non-physicians), and are involved in stopping or de-escalating antibiotics (35% physicians, 40% non-physicians), when necessary for 100% of their patients. Meanwhile, 42% of physicians versus 10% of non-physicians consider stopping or de-escalating antibiotics for all their patients, when necessary. And, about 30% of physicians (29%) and non-physicians (30%) use the shortest effective antibiotic duration necessary for all their patients.

Understanding barriers to improve appropriate antibiotic use may prevent the rise of antibiotic-resistant organisms and may inform initiatives to enhance the antimicrobial stewardship committee in South Texas.

Academic Level

medical student

Mentor/PI Department

Internal Medicine

Available for download on Thursday, February 25, 2027