A recent Chicago Sun-Times article entitled, Study: Malpractice laws chasing docs from Illinois, attempts to make the argument that a large portion of Illinois graduating medical students are leaving the state to practice elsewhere given the states toxic medical malpractice environment.
However, closer examination of the Illinois New Physician Workforce Study, conducted by Northwestern Universitys Feinberg School of Medicine, reveals that the market for doctors in Illinois is considered by some to be saturated and that the primary reasons for residents leaving Illinois are overall practice opportunities not the states medical malpractice environment. These two statements, contained in the Feinberg study, indicate that the job market for new physicians in Illinois is booming and that medical malpractice is not the primary concern for the new crop of doctors.
With regards to job opportunities for graduating residents in Illinois, according to the study, when respondents were asked to provide information regarding the number of job offers they received, only twenty-three percent responded that they had not received any job offers. With respect to the malpractice environment in Illinois, the study reports that for new physicians who plan to practice in Illinois, any negative perceptions concerning malpractice are outweighed by more important factors, like the availability of overall practice opportunities and the ability to work in close proximity to family.
Based on these conclusions, it seems that the generalizations made in the Sun-Times article are not entirely accurate. While making the claim that doctors are leaving Illinois in droves may make for a good headline, a look at the numbers tells the real truth: the physician job market in Illinois is doing just fine.
For more information on the state of the medical malpractice environment in Illinois, call 312-757-7462 and ask for Michael B. Goldberg.