Healthcare News & Insights

Who will be the last OB/GYN standing?

Alarming trend: There are fewer OB/GYNs, and those left are curtailing the services they offer.

That’s the not altogether surprising news from the latest survey on professional liability conducted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

The survey says 63% of OB/GYNs made at least one change to their practice due to fear of lawsuits; just under 60% made changes due to the cost of liability insurance.

The most common changes reported by practitioners:

  • 21% decreased the number of high-risk patients
  • 20% stopped offering vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC)
  • 20% performed more C-sections
  • 11% performed fewer gynecological surgeries
  • 10% performed fewer deliveries overall, and
  • 7% stopped practicing obstetrics completely.

With fewer physicians going into the field — and many at the peak of their careers now refusing to take on certain patients and/or procedures — the obvious question becomes where do women go for treatment? And how can hospitals provide a full-range of services when the physicians willing to do the work just aren’t there any more?

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  1. How could we expect anything different?
    Malpractice is OUT OF CONTROL. Much of the cost of medical services is due to doctors trying to guess what a lawyer will convince a jury was “the right medical care”, even if we don’t really need the tet it will be performed and billed for fear of te lawyer in the future.
    When you hear a Lawyer (read member of Congress) arguing that they will control or lower healthcare costs without FIRST addressing malpractice, just don’t listen to their lies.

  2. Tom Mariner says:

    That’s easy — Every OB/GYN will have to get a law degree to be certified for the specialty. That way, they can spend the months in court arguing their case.

    And if we didn’t have virtually all of our female / baby doctors deciding to spend a quarter of their lives getting into the field and 20% of the rest keeping up to date because they couldn’t make it in the bank robbery field, we wouldn’t have to have this vast army of legal specialists guarding us by extracting millions from the congenital evil-doer doctors. [Scarcasm intended].

    Even the ex leader of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean, recognized that his parties identification with the medical malpractice part of our society was an issue. I don’t wnat to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but maybe if we forbade any monetary awards and instead dictated prison terms for those doctors who voluntarily disregard their Hippocratic oath, we would find the 1% that shouldn’t be practicing rather that is being hidden by suing every single practioner in the country.

    And it may be important for everyone who thinks about having a baby to remember that only two generations ago the words “died in childbirth”, “stillborn”, and “orphanage” were in common usage.