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Illinois trial lawyer responds: there are no doctor shortages in Illinois

The president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) responded recently to an article in the Madison County Record warning of approaching doctor shortages in Illinois. However, as the ITLA President Todd Smith points out, the story contains false conclusions from incomplete representations of the true picture of Illinois’ medical field. The quoted physician from the Illinois State Medical Society has ignored several facts about medical care in Illinois. Over the years, Illinois has consistently increased its number of physicians. Mr. Smith pointed out that ISMS used to report that we had a current physician shortage. After being confronted with the facts of our increases, the dialogue has conveniently shifted to the “future” crisis that Illinois will allegedly face. In fact, a recent survey funded in part by ISMS demonstrated that there is an actual oversaturation of physicians in the largest populated area of our state.

The hard evidence confronts the myth that doctors are fleeing our state. There has never been a decline of doctors in Illinois for forty-five years according to the American Medical Association. The ISMS spokesperson says that the weather, malpractice lawsuits, and reimbursements are to blame for why doctors do not want to set up shop in Illinois. However, the claim that the malpractice lawsuit climate results in physicians lacking interest is almost laughable. The examples provided included a county where only 1-2 medical malpractice lawsuits have been filed per year over the past 10 years. Further, there is no excuse for the doctors in that county to have to pay high insurance premiums. These doctors should pick a different battle and fight for insurance reform – the real culprit!

Visit the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association website to read more about the truth behind the Illinois physician numbers.