Will Florida have enough ob/gyns to ensure access to care?

January 1, 2007

Not according to a 2005 survey of fourth-year medical students at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. The researchers-who presented their findings at the Florida Obstetric and Gynecological Society annual meeting-surmise that concerns about increasing medical liability premiums are contributing to a decline in medical students wanting to specialize in ob/gyn in the state, reported Medical Liability Monitor (9/2006).

Not according to a 2005 survey of fourth-year medical students at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. The researchers-who presented their findings at the Florida Obstetric and Gynecological Society annual meeting-surmise that concerns about increasing medical liability premiums are contributing to a decline in medical students wanting to specialize in ob/gyn in the state, reported Medical Liability Monitor (9/2006).

The survey found that, among the respondents who wanted to specialize in ob/gyn, 86% were considering setting up practice outside of the state because of liability concerns. Among those who considered going into ob/gyn but then decided against it, 32% cited "fear of malpractice" as the first or second deterrent to entering the field.

Already, Florida has the most expensive average rate for medical malpractice premiums for ob/gyns and a shortage of ob/gyns to meet the needs of patients. Based on the survey findings, the researchers believe that this shortage may get worse. They note, though, that more national research is needed to determine the student concerns with entering the ob/gyn field.