SOURCE: Doctor's Advocate

August 02, 2006 14:49 ET

Total Pennsylvania Doctors Sued Tops 10,000

Destruction of State's Healthcare Delivery System Continues

POTTSTOWN, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 2, 2006 -- According to the Pennsylvania Medical Board's Ruth Donawold, 10,009 Pennsylvania doctors have been named in medical malpractice lawsuits in the last 50 months, since May 22, 2002, when doctors were first required to report if they were sued.

"These statistics illustrate that the dismemberment and destruction of Pennsylvania's healthcare delivery system continues unabated," says Robert B. Surrick, Esquire, executive director for Doctor's Advocate.

The latest American Medical Association (AMA) Masterfile numbers reveal that medical residents continue to flee Pennsylvania, as well. In the early 1990's, the average number of graduating residents who stayed to practice in Pennsylvania was about 45%. In 2003, only 17% stayed, and in 2004 only 8% stayed. In 2005, of 2,114 graduating residents, only 363 stayed in Pennsylvania to practice, or just 17%.

The number of Pennsylvania doctors under 35 years of age has also declined. In the early 1990's, the average percent of doctors under 35 was about 12%. In 2003, it was 4.1%, in 2004 it was 3.4%, and in 2005 it was 4.5%.

Pennsylvania Medical Board records reveal that in fiscal 2002-03, the number of doctors named was 2,782. In 2003-04, it was 2,081. In 2004-05 it was 2,633 and in fiscal 2005-06, it was 2,302.

"No doctor in his or her right mind would choose to practice medicine in Pennsylvania under the existing conditions, which includes some of the highest med-mal insurance premiums in the country," says Surrick. "This healthcare delivery catastrophe will continue to build as long as powerful trial lawyers have controlling influence in Pennsylvania's government."

Governor Rendell continues to maintain, in the face of the above evidence, that the medical malpractice crisis has "abated significantly." He is running for reelection and Election Board records reflect he has received over $6 million from trial lawyers.

Background on Doctor's Advocate

Doctor's Advocate ( works to end the medical malpractice crisis by raising public awareness, lobbying for legislation to produce tort reform, and combating frivolous lawsuits with an aggressive legal service. The organization was founded by Robert B. Surrick, Esquire, a retired trial lawyer, and Elliot Menkowitz, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon. Doctor's Advocate has engaged a 19-member full-service law firm to act as private attorney for subscribing doctors who are sued. Doctor's Advocate has associated with Devon Health Services, Inc., a National Healthcare Cost Management Company and the Northeast's most extensive Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). Doctor's Advocate is headquartered in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Darren M. Behuniak
    Senior Public Relations Representative
    (P) 610.755.4958

    Doctor's Advocate
    1200 East High St., Suite 307
    Pottstown, PA 19464
    (P) 610.327.8202
    (F) 610.970.2334