D.C. Doctors Plan to Retire or Move Due to Lawsuit Crisis

September 26, 2005

The medical liability problem in the District of Columbia is worsening, according to a survey by the Medical Society of D.C.

The survey claims that 30 percent of the District’s physicians plan to retire early; 21 percent plan to stop practicing; and 34 percent plan to move out of the District due to the threat of lawsuits and the rising cost of medical liability insurance.

“This timely information confirms what we have been saying all along,” said MSDC President-Elect Damian P. Alagia. “The crisis caused by the very high cost of medical liability insurance in D.C. is expanding and may soon be irreversible if action is not taken now.”

When asked how the cost of medical liability insurance in the District is impacting overall health care in the District, 80 percent said access to care is reduced or will be reduced soon, while 84 percent said pressure to practice “defensive medicine” is increasing.

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