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The U.S. Could Soon Face a Serious OB-GYN Shortage

As women’s health care faces assaults on virtually all fronts (see: quite a few state legal guidelines limiting reproductive freedom, Donald Trump’s $213.6 million cut to teen contraception packages, and the Republican health care invoice), there’s one other disaster looming. According to a new report from Doximity, a social community for physicians, the United States might quickly face a scarcity of obstetricians and gynecologists.

As Doximity reports, nearly all of training OB-GYNS are both at or close to retirement age—and an “inadequate number” of latest docs are getting into the sector. Considering that the present common age for OB-GYNs is 51—and the typical retirement age is 59—the variety of physicians specializing in obstetrics and gynecology might quickly decline—and the remaining docs might be left to deal with skyrocketing demand for women’s health care.

“The current workforce in obstetrics and gynecology is aging, retiring early, and going part time at an increasing pace, while the number of patients seeking care is exploding due to health care reform and population statistics,” stated Valerie Anne Jones, MD, a retired OB-GYN and member of Doximity’s Medical Advisory Board. “Access to maternity care and women’s health services is vitally important, and we need to have infrastructure to support the numbers or these women will have no OB-GYN to turn to despite having insurance.”

Currently within the U.S., OB-GYNs deal with a mean of 105 reside births annually. Broken down on the state degree, this quantity can both drop considerably—in Hatford, Connecticut, as an example, it is solely 58—or improve drastically (in Riverside, California, OB-GYNs help in a mean of 258 stay births; in St. Louis, it is 232). And these specialists deal with excess of simply delivering infants and performing abortions. From endometriosis to ovarian cysts to cervical most cancers, fewer OB-GYNs means fewer choices for women—and with women’s health clinics shutting their doorways throughout the nation, hundreds of thousands of women shall be affected.

For areas that already face heavy workloads—and a rising variety of physicians approaching retirement age—the probability that OB-GYNs will face a larger workload with fewer assets will increase. And as Doximity stories, 10 cities, particularly, are on the highest danger for an OB-GYN scarcity: Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles, Miami, Riverside, California, Detroit, Memphis, Tennessee, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, and Buffalo, New York.

“It’s impossible to understate the importance of OB-GYNs to women’s health in the United States. From maternity care to screening for cancer and critical primary and preventive care, OB-GYN specialists are at the frontline of women’s healthcare,” stated Nate Gross, MD, co-founder of Doximity. “Understanding potential OB-GYN shortages is a key starting point in addressing the problem, and our data shows that we have a growing risk in cities across the country.”

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