Illinois Faces Critical Physician Shortage, New Study Warns

side note: We here at Cunningham Group have been following this closely since this is in our backyard. Granted, we insure physicians and other healthcare professionals across the nation, but we got started in Illinois and share the same concerns stated in this study, because our numbers are showing something very similar. In addition, we are hearing throughout the state that this is a growing trend, especially central and southern portions of the state. Since we work for physicians, we were saddened to see the State Supreme Court rule against caps…which has not allowed medical malpractice insurance costs to drop. When surveying the medical malpractice insurance climate across the nation, we understand why doctors would move….they can pay as much as 70% less for their med-mal insurance. Since we are the nation’s leading medical malpractice insurance company……we have helped literally thousands of physicians move to a new location and have saved them quite a bit of money. If you are thinking of moving and want to make sure you are properly covered in your new location, no matter the specialty, contact Cunningham Group and let the experts give you hand. Click to receive your free Medical Malpractice Insurance Quote.

Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine

Half of all graduating medical residents or fellows trained in Illinois leave the state to practice medicine elsewhere, in large part due to the medical liability environment in Illinois, according to a new study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The study, the first to examine the state’s supply of new physicians, warns that Illinois will face a critical doctor shortage – especially in rural areas – if new strategies aren’t adopted to stem the exodus.

“Many of those who leave are just heading across the border to Wisconsin or Indiana,” said Russell Robertson, MD, a lead study author and professor and chair of family and community medicine at Feinberg and of family medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Many of these new graduates cite Illinois’ toxic medical malpractice environment as a major reason. The Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to lift the liability caps seems to send the message that the potential for litigation supersedes the need for residents of Illinois to get needed health care.”

With the national shortage of physicians, Illinois must change its malpractice policies and improve recruiting to remain competitive with other states, the study says. The situation will become more critical as the implementation of health care reform and aging Baby Boomers’ medical needs escalate the demand for health care. Compounding the shortage, more doctors nearing retirement age are in general internal medicine, while newly graduating doctors are more likely to be specialists.

The 2010 Illinois New Physician Workforce Study surveyed 561 graduating Illinois medical students in the spring of 2010. It examined graduating residents’ and fellows’ plans for entering the workforce and the reasons for their choices. The study was commissioned by Feinberg in partnership with the Illinois Hospital Association and the Illinois State Medical Society.

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