Let’s Blame Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Everything

Southern Maryland News has an article about a serious problem: the shortage of doctors in Southern Maryland. This is a good issue that needs attention. I’ve written about this on the Maryland Injury Lawyer blog in the past in a post titled “Doctor Shortage in Maryland? A Doctor in Southern Maryland Says There Is a Shortage of Doctors.”
Yet, bizarrely, the article focuses on medical malpractice insurance, profiling the ostensibly tragic story of Dr. Charlene Letchford who was forced by the “skyrocketing cost of medical malpractice insurance” to join a group of doctors at Calvert Memorial. Apparently, the bill “recently jumped from $11,000 to $16,000 a year.”
Now, is it possible – just possible – that this $5,000 was not the deal breaker? Are there other possible alternatives to explain why her practice was not successful other than the additional $13.70 she has to pay every day for malpractice coverage?

The article also points to the insurance company reimbursement rates which are increasingly defeating attorneys in the battle to be the archenemy of Maryland doctors. But it is troubling the extent to which doctors seek to bundle up all of their problems and place them at the doorstep of medical malpractice lawsuits.

The article includes the following bizarre quotes from Dr. Barry Aron, an OB/GYN in La Plata (Charles County):

Even if the case is dismissed the lawsuit still counts against you with the insurance carrier. It’s a losing situation. Even if a doctor wins a case the insurance company still pays out money.

It’s all a game to the lawyers involved. It’s kind of a shame. The way the system works is that pain and suffering brings in a lot of money.

First, I think Dr. Aron is wrong that dismissed malpractice suits raise a doctor’s medical malpractice premiums in Maryland. Second, how is it a “game” to malpractice lawyers? What does that even mean? Third, “kind of” a shame? Do you have patients that are “kind of” pregnant? Finally, yeah, pain and suffering brings in a lot of money. If a doctor hurts a patient and causes lifelong pain and suffering, what exactly do you propose, Dr. Aron?

Curiosity led me to Dr. Aron’s sites on the web. He has a few websites. Just looking at this one, I’d be willing to bet $50 Dr. Aron is a nice guy who is probably a good doctor. And maybe he was misquoted, I don’t know. But these quotes are ridiculous.

  • Robert Oshel

    The underlying problem with malpractice insurance premiums is malpractice, not injured patients seeking compensation. Tort reform simply shifts the costs to the injured patients from the physicians causing the injuries. It is fair to say, however, that defense costs drive up malpractice premiums even when the physicians are successful in defending suits (which happens in the majority of cases).

    What is the solution? Physicians and patients alike should demand effective action from the Medical Board to revoke or restrict the licenses of the small percentage of physicians with multiple payments and who are responsible for the bulk of malpractice payments.

  • Jennifer

    Obviously, the author of this blog does not know Dr. Aron. Amazingly enough, this was written by an angry male who has never gone through the true pain and suffering of pregnancy. Mr. Miller, I highly suggest you endure pregnancy (haha!) with a doctor as uneducated and self-righteous as yourself. We are lucky to have Dr. Aron in this area. It is too bad that you are placing blame on people who have the best intentions in mind and provide such extremely adequate care to mothers. I suggest that you find a job in which you serve others rather than tear them apart. The world needs to understand that professionals should be allowed to their own opinions and respected for what they do, not what they say.

  • anon

    Sounds to me like Mr. Aron might have done some research into malpractice but why? Has he maybe had some deliveries gone bad? Things that make you go HMMMMMMMM

  • Ron Miller

    Maybe but I really don’t think so. I think many doctors who have never been sued still think most malpractice lawsuits are unreasonable, unless the find the shoe on the other foot.

  • I’d like to point out a recent reprimand pretaining to Dr. Aron listed on the Maryland State Medical Board.


    There’s also another one for Dr. Neal located in Southern Maryland.

    These can be verified by searching their profiles and are available to the public.

    Both of these doctors have been found to not follow the standard of care and as a result, two babies died.

    Maybe this has something to do with the shortage of OBs in Southern Maryland.

  • Patricia McDermott

    Perhaps Dr. Charlene Letchford’s problem is that she is an arrogant woman with an “I am God” complex. And with all of this, perhaps she’s not a good doctor at all. Doctors who think they know it all and have all the answers, and who loathe being questioned, need to find another profession! She is, in my opinion, a sorry excuse for a doctor. The tragic part of her story is that she thought she was going to make easy money. Now that she has to actually work some hours for her pay she’s bitter, angry and, again, in my opinion, an inept and uncaring doctor.

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