The Effect of Malpractice Liability on the Specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Using data from a 2003 survey of 1,476 obstetrician-gynecologists, the effects of malpractice pressure on the specialty are investigated. Physicians report having made substantial changes to their practice in response to the general environment and to liability pressures. Regression analysis finds that liability pressure increases reports of income and practice reductions, but direct effects on actual income and productivity are less clear. Liability pressures may lead to a specialization effect, with some physicians concentrating more in obstetrics and others in gynecological surgery. Overall, the evidence suggests that liability pressure has moderate but significant effects on the specialty.