06 April 2004


Unhappiness In Practice

April 5, 2004 print issue of the Chicago Sun-Times

The woman on the right of the picture is Dr. Eileen Murphy. She is 48 and a well-known Ob-Gyn in Chicago who has just decided to quit her practice and become a middle school science teacher instead. Read her story here.

Just like Filipino doctors who are shifting to nursing, her reasons appear to be financial and economic. And I thought Filipinos were the only ones. According to a 2002 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine the most dissastified doctors in practice are ENT practitioners followed by OB-GYN doctors.

The biggest unsatisfaction of OB-GYNs comes from growing costs of malpractice insurance. In Cook County, for example, malpractice insurance cost an average of $140,000 according to ISMIE Mutual, the state's biggest insurer. Other reasons cited are long hours, managed-care hassles, and Medicare regulations. The news story also says "there are anecdotal reports of OB-GYNs moving to Wisconsin and Indiana, which have lower premiums, or quitting medicine altogether."

Asked for a reaction, Dr. Murphy has this to say: "But things change," she said. "You have to respond to change. I'm pretty Zen about it."

Pretty Zen about it. That sounds cool. Are the patients cool about it too?

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