Critical Reception For Study Claiming Malpractice Laws Chase Docs From Illinois

Half of all graduating medical residents or fellows trained in Illinois are leaving the state to practice elsewhere, according to a new study, which seems to indicate that as many as 50% of the state’s medical school graduates are turned off by the “toxic” malpractice environment. Critics, however, say the study is just another attempt by the health care industry to blame its problems on malpractice claims.

The study, which was funded by the Illinois Hospital Association and the Illinois State Medical Society, asked 561 medical students where they intended to practice after graduation and why. Students who said they planned to leave Illinois cited salary, opportunities to work in their specialty and proximity to family as the most important factors driving their decision. The survey also found that for nearly 70 percent of these students, their perception of Illinois' liability environment -- based on the state's high medical malpractice insurance premiums compared to its neighbors, as well as the Illinois Supreme Court's recent decision to remove caps on damages for medical lawsuits -- also played a role.

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