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Baby, Bye Bye Bye: Miami Could Face OB/GYN Shortage, Study Finds

In addition to delivering babies, OB/GYNs provide less pleasant but equally important health care services like Pap smears.
Ted Murphy
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Planning to have a baby in the Miami metro area? You’d better do it fast.

A study released Thursday says that of the 50 largest U.S. cities, Miami is the fourth most likely to face a shortage of obstetricians and gynecologists in the coming years.

Analysts say the number of OB/GYNs -- doctors who deliver babies and treat women of all ages -- isn’t growing fast enough to keep up with the growing U.S. population. That’s because many OB/GYNs are approaching retirement age, but not so many med students are entering the field to replace them.

It’s a particular problem in Miami, where nearly 40 percent of OB/GYNs are older than 55.

And, the analysts say, OB/GYNs tend to burn out and retire earlier than other specialists. Being on call for deliveries at all hours takes its toll.

The study found Las Vegas to be the city with the highest risk of an OB/GYN shortage. Orlando is second. The city with the lowest risk of a shortage? Portland, Oregon.

The study was conducted by Doximity, a networking site for healthcare professionals. A representative for the company said a main reason for the study is to let its members who are OB/GYNs know where they might be needed… like South Florida. 

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Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read.