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Type: Journal article
Title: Projections of Australian obstetricians ceasing practice and the reasons
Author: MacLennan, A.
Spencer, M.
Citation: Medical Journal of Australia, 2002; 176(9):425-428
Publisher: Australasian Med Publ Co Ltd
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0025-729X
Statement of
Alastair H MacLennan and Michael K Spencer
Abstract: Objectives: To assess the intentions of Australia's specialist obstetricians to cease practice and their reasons for abandoning this specialty. Design: A structured questionnaire posted to Fellows of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), issued 11 July 2001 with a return date of 31 July 2001 (in practice, responses were accepted up to 31 August 2001). Participants: Australian specialists holding a Fellowship of the RANZCOG. Main outcome measures: Demographic data (eg, age, sex); type and location of practice; past, current and intended future obstetric practice; reasons for stopping practice; cost of indemnity premiums; experience of litigation and its influence on practice; and experience in giving medicolegal opinion. Results: The response rate was 74% (829/1116), with 826 responses fulfilling our selection criteria. The median number of years since admission as a Fellow was 17 (range, 1–47 years), and 19% (158/817) of respondents were women (9 people did not specify their sex). Of the 826 respondents, 596 (72%) were currently practising obstetrics, 548 (66%) intended to still be practising after one year, 365 (44%) intended to be practising after five years, and 196 (24%) intended to be practising after 10 years. The median indemnity premium in 2001–02 was $35 515 (range, nil to $156 000) for practising obstetricians. The main reasons given for ceasing obstetrics were intention to specialise in gynaecology, fear of litigation, high indemnity costs, family disruption, and long working hours. About two-thirds of respondents (557/818) had experienced the threat of litigation, and almost all (768/803) desired some type of "no-fault" indemnity scheme. Thirty-three of the 314 respondents who had given medicolegal opinions accounted for 71% of the total number of opinions. Many of these were non-practising obstetricians who were not accredited RANZCOG expert witnesses. Conclusion: There will soon be a shortage of experienced practising obstetricians in Australia.
Keywords: Humans
Age Distribution
Career Mobility
Middle Aged
Insurance, Liability
Societies, Medical
Surveys and Questionnaires
Description: The document attached has been archived with permission from the editor of the Medical Journal of Australia (10 January 2008). An external link to the publisher’s copy is included.
DOI: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04484.x
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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