Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Coming OB/GYN Shortage

Obviously, it’s difficult to blame this on Donald Trump, but Lisa Ryan manages to throw this problem into the same basket as Trump’s wish to defund Planned Parenthood.

In truth, the problem dates to well before the advent of Trump. I have discussed it in relation to other medical specialties. In brief, America is running out of gynecologists and obstetricians.

Ryan explains:

According to a report from Doximity, a leading social network for physicians, the majority of the current OB/GYN workforce in the country is nearing or at retirement age — and there are an inadequate amount of younger physicians specializing in the practice. As a result, the number of OB/GYNs in the U.S. will likely soon decline, and those remaining may struggle to keep up with demands for women’s health care.

Perhaps Obamacare has contributed to this. Perhaps low Medicaid reimbursement rates have pushed physicians away from this specialty.

Or, maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with malpractice insurance. Don't OB/GYNs pay far more than most for malpractice insurance? Combined with Medicaid reimbursement rates, it might be that lawyers have conspired to deprive the nation of much needed medical professionals.

Other explanations welcome.


trigger warning said...

I think its a combination of the factors you mentioned. But, presumably, we can import some from Sub-Saharan Islamic countries. They've had good luck with that in Michigan. They tend to be FGM experts as well as delivering babies. A twofer.

By the way, the Obamacare Co-Op trade association died. There weren't enough solvent co-ops left to keep it going. :-D

James said...

June Foray; the voice of Natasha Fatale (Bullwinkle), Witch Hazel, etc has died.

Magic Mirror said...

One other factor to which I am not sure how much weight to assign: young male med school grads may be avoiding the mean-girl "hen party" that gynecology is becoming. If one is a newly minted male doctor who truly prefers women doctors as colleagues, one could choose to practice pediatrics, and get not only nurturing-by-nature women docs as one's peers, but also some of the bravest, least whining patients to be found in primary care, to boot.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Good point, Unknown. It's interesting that some medical specialties are become pink ghettos, where men are either not welcome or are subtle excluded. I suspect that dermatology is one of them. And also, veterinary medicine. But then, I also suspect that many women do not want to do OB/GYN because of the difficult on-call schedule. Women who expect to have children often choose specialties like dermatology because it does not really have on-call requirements.

Sam L. said...

And then there's ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL that insurance "paper"work involved.