Facing doctor gap, hospitals turning to laborists to deliver babies
Boston Globe, February 24, 2009
Laborists or OB hospitalists are helping fill a void created by the growing number of obstetrician-gynecologists who have stopped delivering babies because of grueling on-call schedules and high malpractice insurance costs. The Boston-based ProMutual Group said about 65 of the 120 obstetrician-gynecologists it insures have quit delivering babies. Some physicians believe the practice is safer, because laborists can begin caring for pregnant women as soon as they arrive at the hospital. Laborists also work defined shifts, so they generally don't suffer chronic sleep deprivation from repeated on-call shifts. That could lead to fewer mistakes, some say.