Med students threaten to leave Pa.

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 1, 2004

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More than 1,250 medical students from six medical schools in Pennsylvania signed a petition stating that they'll be forced to find jobs outside the state after they graduate if the medical liability system isn't fixed. The future physicians sent the letter to the Legislature and Gov. Edward Rendell in February.

"The soaring and uncontrolled cost of malpractice insurance in this state is a staggering obstacle to establishing a career here," the letter said. "How can Pennsylvania invest so much in medical education and pride itself on having some of the world's finest hospitals while simultaneously allowing such a barrier against providing health care to exist?"

The students support a reasonable limit on noneconomic damage awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, along with other reforms that California adopted in the 1970s. Pennsylvania is one of 19 states the American Medical Association says is experiencing a medical liability crisis. The AMA says California and five other states aren't experiencing those problems because they've passed effective tort reforms.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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