Monday, May 4, 2009

Where Have All the Doctors Gone?

From But with the League of Leftwing Lawyers in charge of the White House & both branches of Congress, the chances for reform at the national level are about zero. ~Bob

Doctors for Medical Liability Reform,317 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.Suite 100, Washington, DC 20002.Phone: 1-877-9REFORM

Where Have All the Doctors Gone?

Possibly to states with protections against medical lawsuit abuse.

The Frederick News-Post reported that Maryland patients are facing a critical access to care crisis due to physician shortages, and the problem is only going to get worse unless the state enacts comprehensive medical liability reforms. Maryland's average medical liability award is nearly $320,000 – about $35,000 more than the national average – and the state has no reasonable limits on non-economic damages.

Currently, Maryland only has 178 doctors per 100,000 people, well under the national average of 212 per 100,000 people. In the growing Frederick County area, there are only two full time practicing neurosurgeons.

Massachusetts is facing a similar problem. A recent survey by the Massachusetts Medical Society found that 50% of graduating medical students planned on practicing in other states, and only 13% of currently practicing physicians are under the age of 35. Last year, liability costs rose 5.3% for Massachusetts physicians.

You might try looking for these doctors down in Texas, which was facing a similar access to care crisis before enacting medical liability reform in 2003.

To read more about the access to care crisis in Maryland, click here, and here for news of the Massachusetts doctor shortage.

1 comment:

  1. Bob, As you know, my husband practices medicine in MA and while he is a sub-specialist, he is part of a larger practice of mostly primary care docs. His group has one of the best compensation packages in the state, and yet they are still short on primary care docs. Of course, MA has a "universal" health care policy, which accounts for the lack of enough docs, despite the fact that there are a currently a larger % of MD's per capita in MA than anywhere else. If universal health care is passed, the shortage will result in VERY long lines to see your doctor. No way around it. Furthermore, I have not heard one word about tort reform from this administration, yet malpractice suits adds 30% to the cost of healthcare. I cannot figure out why people are allowing socialized medicine to be shoved down their throats without debate, when it caused such an outcry in 1993. Mind boggling.