Public Citizen, a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, recently completed a study showing that the Washington, D.C. Medical Society (MSDC) fabricated an obstetrician shortage, presumably in order to influence citizens’ opinions regarding tort reform and medical malpractice claims.
The study showed that the medical society has grossly understated the number of obstetricians practicing in the District. An excerpt from the Public Citizen press release:
“This study unmasks the D.C. Medical Society as a cynical fear-monger, willing to go so far as to exploit the anxieties of expectant mothers to push its political agenda,” said Jillian Aldebron, civil justice counsel for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, which conducted the survey. “These are the same scare tactics used by medical groups across the country: Create the perception of a doctor shortage then assert that it can be cured only by changes in the law that would shield negligent doctors from accountability when they injure patients and deprive victims of the compensation they deserve.”
The survey was prompted by MSDC’s oft-repeated warning that the District is hemorrhaging obstetricians, who MSDC claims are fleeing because negligence lawsuits have driven their medical malpractice insurance premiums sky high. The proof, so MSDC says, is that it surveyed 141 of the 151 ob/gyns listed in the 2005 Washington Physicians Directory and found that 61 had stopped delivering babies. This grim statistic, released in 2005, came on the heels of MSDC’s 2004 doomsday prognosticating, when another of its surveys found that nearly nine of 10 ob/gyns had moved, planned to move or were considering moving out of D.C.
To read Public Citizen’s full report, including a description of methodology and sources, click here.