Columbus Dispatch: Does booming Columbus have enough OB-GYN doctors?
A recent study by Doximity, a professional social network for physicians and advanced-practice clinicians, was released assessing OB-GYN staffing in major metro areas, and it shows Columbus as well-equipped for a baby boom. Looking at the 50 biggest metropolitan areas, the study evaluates the number and ages of OB-GYNs across the country, along with how many births performed by OB-GYNs each year in those areas.
Columbus was ranked 10th for metro areas with the lowest risk of shortages. There are various reasons that could contribute to this ranking. With much of the country’s OB-GYN work force nearing retirement age, Columbus has more than 19 percent of area OB-GYNs younger than 40, which is higher than the 14 percent national average. As for a birth-to-OB-GYN ratio, Columbus is close to the average with 106 births per OB-GYN doctor per year.
"(Columbus’ low shortage risk is) the combination of having an atypical delivery load and also having a relatively young workforce,” says Christopher Whaley, lead author of the Doximity study.
Joel Davis, vice president of data analytics at Doximity, believes that Columbus is in good shape probably because of “local medical schools and hospital networks doing a good job of educating young doctors more likely to stick around”.
OhioHealth is training numerous OB-GYN residents who will likely stick around. “The majority of folks in OB-GYN remain where they train,” Dr. Thomas Harmon, vice president of medical affairs at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, told Dispatch reporter, Jennifer Smola. “That’s probably the number one reason (Columbus has a lower risk of a shortage).”
Dr. Harmon also mentioned the medical-legal climate in central Ohio being better than others in metro areas. Columbus has a low rate of Medicaid state insurance plans and better payment systems as well, which can be another incentive for doctors to stay.
Of the three metropolitan areas in Ohio, Cincinnati earned the highest ranking for the highest risk of having a shortage, while Cleveland has a lower shortage risk than Columbus, ranking 6th for the lowest risk of OB-GYN shortages.
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