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Mass. Is A Tough Place To Be A Doctor, Study Says

Massachusetts is a tough place to be a doctor, according to an annual report that tracks working conditions for physicians.

The report (PDF) by the Massachusetts Medical Society highlights several reasons it's more difficult to practice medicine in Massachusetts than in many other states.

One is the increasingly high cost of medical malpractice insurance. The report says malpractice premiums in Massachusetts can account for more than 10 percent of a doctor's total business costs. For some high-risk specialties, including obstetrics and neurosurgery, insurance premiums can be more than $100,000 a year.

The report also says the cost of just maintaining a doctor's practice — meaning covering payroll, rent and medical supplies — increased 3 percent in the state last year, even though nationally that cost declined.

And the aging physician workforce here puts pressure on younger doctors, leading to higher patient caseloads and longer patient wait times, according to the report.

This program aired on May 25, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Sacha Pfeiffer Twitter Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.

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