“There are many physicians and midwives in private practice who offer maternity care and have hospital privileges at NHRMC. However, the 24/7 nature of obstetrics leads many physicians and midwives to join group practices,” said Carolyn Fisher, marketing and public relations manager at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
Splitting overnight on-call shifts between a team of eight or nine doctors is a lot easier than being the only one to respond every time a baby is born, said Glen Meade OB/GYN CEO Paul Snyder.
“Babies are born 365 days a year. Having a sole practice, that can wear you out,” Snyder said.
Rising malpractice insurance costs for OB/GYN providers also weighs in. Medical specialties with the highest premiums include obstetrics and neurosurgery, according to a 2009 Reuters article. Malpractice insurance premiums for obstetricians range from $200,000 per year in high-cost states – with Nevada and Florida being the highest – to $20,000, the article said.
“We’ve had so many patients say they would love to see the same doctor every time they come in, but it’s extremely difficult to run a practice that way for the expense and the quality of life for the providers,” Snyder said.
Date posted: February 3, 2012
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