If most people were asked to choose a physician specialty that they wanted to ensure was robust, many would likely choose obstetrics and gynecology. These physicians are tasked with ensuring the health of a mother and her unborn child and for delivering children into the world. However, the rise in the number and amount of awards in medical malpractice cases in this specialty has caused many physicians to choose a different specialty during training or to limit their practices to gynecologic surgeries and not practice obstetrics. This has created a dangerous situation for many expectant mothers in New Mexico and throughout the country.
It is well known that the United States is facing an increasing physician and nurse shortage across all specialties. This is especially true in rural and even urban, under-served populations. When considering the number of OBGYNs currently in the U.S. as compared to the expected increase in the number of pregnant women in the country’s population, there could be a crisis brewing.
It may seem obvious, but an increase in the number of women who are in their child-bearing years, coupled with the shortage of physicians and rules that prevent nurse midwives from treating patients without physician supervision, will most likely result in an increase of medical malpractice cases in the near future. Most births are not scheduled, and OBGYN’s and midwives are often called into the hospital at night, where they then need to maintain their office practices while fighting exhaustion. Because of these factors, mistakes will like continue to rise in prevalence.
Those who have suffered harm from medical malpractice in New Mexico may benefit from contacting an attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice litigation. An attorney can discuss the various legal options available when confronted with complications or death caused by medical errors. Furthermore, an attorney who has experience with such cases will have additional knowledge of local and state laws that could assist in mounting the best case possible when a patient has been hurt because of physician errors.
Source: The Huffington Post, “America’s OBGYN Shortage Is Extremely Dangerous For Pregnant Women“, Michael Ollove, Aug. 15, 2016