Laborists, and how rising malpractice premiums and the physician payment system are fueling the rise of hospital-only obstetricians

Meet the obstetric version of hospitalists, known as laborists.

Faced with rising malpractice premiums, and the increasing financial pressure to see more patients in the office, more obstetrician/gynecologists are ceasing to deliver babies. In fact, according to Massachusetts’ largest malpractice carrier, more than half of the OB/GYN’s they cover have dropped obstetrics.

It’s no wonder, as “an obstetrician-gynecologist in Massachusetts generally pays between $75,000 and $100,000 …

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The shift worker mentality

retired doc laments the declining sense of duty in today’s physicians, fostered by work-hour restrictions during residency.

Shift work medicine is here to stay, as hospitalists, part-time physicians and mid-levels make up an increasing amount of the clinician force.

It’s just another sign of how today’s physicians value lifestyle more than their predecessors. And there’s nothing wrong in desiring that kind of work-life balance.

The real heroes of health care

Nurses: “In the ever worsening financial stresses being forced upon our system, one can see why nurses can feel overly burdened by very time consuming and needy patients while also trying to maintain a picture perfect paper trail of documentation that has overwhelmed their profession to much the same degree as physicians.”


You get what you pay for: “Does the founder of FreeMD . . . have enough faith in his product to institute it at his own ER as its triage program of choice. Fire his triage nurse. Set up a computer in his lobby and have all prospective patients triage themselves. And if the program says you don’t need to see a doctor NOW, would …

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