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Opinion: New York work environment for doctors needs to change

Here is a central irony associated with the practice of medicine in New York, as noted in a recent media article addressing that subject.

To wit: New York is reportedly the leading state in the country for training doctors, yet it ranks dead last as a work environment for them to ply their precious skills.

In fact, it is estimated that about 17 percent of all physicians in the United States have completed their formal medical training in New York schools and hospitals, with, sadly, well more than half of them who complete an in-state residency leaving thereafter to work in another state.

Unsurprisingly, a doctor who serves as the president of a county medical society states in an opinion article for a New York newspaper that such numbers are “troubling.”

And, notes Dennis J. Nave, they need to change.

If they don’t, he states, New York will continue to be “a net exporter of doctors to other states.”

Why is that the case?

One reason, states Nave, relates to high malpractice costs and the lack of meaningful tort reform in New York. Nave contrasts that reality with reforms pushed through by legislatures in other states, which make practice in those jurisdictions comparatively more attractive to New York-based practice for many physicians.

Another factor Nave points to is a lack of collective bargaining for state doctors, which the writer says is also a catalyst for their mass departures from New York.

A strong medical workforce is obviously critically important for the well-being of all New York residents. Nave says that they “deserve better” and that legislators need to step up and promote policies that will preclude doctors from leaving the state.

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