Practice in PA

Hi. Does anyone practice or plan to practice in Pennsylvania? If so, do you have any thoughts or opinions on the increase of malpractice insurance premiums and how it might impact your practice? I know that certain specialties which present the greatest risk for malpractice suit are targeted, but do you find the climate there too unstable? At present, would you recommend practice in PA, dependant upon specialty?

Hi there,
I am not considering practice in PA high malpractice or not. People generally practice where they have trained or where they are from. Many places are putting a cap on malpractice awards. Virginia has a $3million max on awards. With about 2/3rds of that going to your attorney, you are not left with much if you have been seriously injured.
Most locales are flirting with putting caps on malpractice awards. The states that do have them a huge number of physicians in certain specialties like neurosurgery and OB-Gyn but local medical societies and local hospitals may not give you admitting priviledges and you won't be able to practice anyway. You might as well stay in PA or any of the other states with higher malpractice insurance fees.
Pennsylvania also has one of the most detailed and rigorous licensing requirements so I suspect that they will be moving to becoming a capped state pretty soon. Right now, West Virginia is one of the easiest states to becomed licensed but does not have a cap on malpractice awards. The only way to win in this game is not to get sued in the first place.

Ok. But considering the nature of the beast, and by that I mean any entity that digs deeper into your pocket and/or reduces the quality and potential of medical care, whether it's high malpractice insurance fees; Medicare and Meidcaid cuts affecting reimbursement; HMO's; etc.; did these things weigh-in on your decision when you chose to become a physician (non-trad perspective)?
Outside of your personal commitment to serving your community, what other factors aided you in rectifying the negative aspects of practice in medicine? I am looking from the outside in and it could be argued that indeed certain aspects of practice in medicine is spiraling downward.

You are right to seriously weigh all the negatives of becoming a physician before taking the plunge. If you have misgivings, you certainly shouldn't do it. Obviously - as you clearly know - you shouldn't go into it for the money.
In many ways my approach is a leap of faith. I do not believe that the current health care system is sustainable in the long run. What will replace it? I don't know. I just have to hope that it is something better than what I routinely observe now, or that I will figure out a way to adapt within the system so that I can pay off my loans, make enough money to justify the time I put in, and enjoy my work. I honestly don't know exactly how that is going to happen - and since I am at least five years away from private practice at this point, I don't see a lot to be gained from trying to predict it. Too much is going to change in the next several years.
My .02, obviously other people's mileage may vary.