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J Fam Pract. 1993 May;36(5):534-8.

Attitudes of Florida family practice residents concerning obstetrics.



The cost of liability insurance for obstetrical care and the fear of eventual litigation are reasons commonly cited by family physicians for not delivering babies.


Separate surveys were mailed to residency directors and third-year residents in Florida family practice residency programs to determine the attitude and practice plans of recently trained family physicians in regard to obstetrics.


Three hundred twenty residents completed civilian family practice residency programs in Florida from 1986 through 1990. Only nine (2.8%) delivered babies the first year after residency. The major reasons that third-year residents gave for not planning to deliver babies included fear of being sued and the cost of malpractice insurance. Residents' estimates of first-year insurance costs were 350% higher than actual premiums. Furthermore, residents believed that the risk of being sued for the obstetrics portion of their practice would exceed the risk for the nonobstetric portion.


Residents' estimates of the cost of malpractice insurance and their malpractice risk for delivering babies appear to be greatly exaggerated. These views are primarily obtained from nonresidency sources.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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