Las Vegas at risk of major obstetrician-gynecologist shortage

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - A new study by Doximity says Las Vegas is the top city in the nation with the highest risk of a major obstetrician-gynecologist shortage.

The study says there are multiple reasons why.

The first is, almost 40 percent of our OB/GYNs are more than 55 years old, and only 9 percent are younger than 40 years old.

Las Vegas also ranked high for OB/GYNs have a high workload. The study found the average OB/GYN delivers 170 babies per year in Las Vegas, the third most of any city in the country. 

Also, the average age of our OB/GYNs is higher than most cities at 52 years old.

"I think it's a real concern," said Joel Davis with Doximity. "I do think it's something that officials both within the healthcare system in Las Vegas as well as the local government should be thinking about."

OB/GYNs have a high work load with unpredictable hours, causing early retirement for many of them.

Another contributing factor to the high risk for a significant shortage is that Las Vegas hasn't had a medical school until now. Therefore, we don't have students learning here and staying here.

Midwife Erica Delmore with Well Rounded Momma says mommies-to-be will feel the impact.

"If there's a shortage of doctors, it's going to affect women," she said. "It's going to affect insurance coverage, it's going to affect wait times, it's going to affect who delivers their baby."

Davis says by 2020, the nation will be short 9,000 OB/GYNs, many of those here in Las Vegas. He says some women may already be feeling the effects, like Leanne Marchese.

Marchese had to call four doctors before finding one that could take her.

"It was either too long of a wait, or they were at capacity, they just couldn't take any more clients," she said.

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