"My life has undergone a significant change since I last wrote. I picked up stakes and moved to South Dakota. After a number of years of increasing malpractice costs, increasing overhead, and diminishing reimbursement, we decided that the rats had won the rat race and we quit. It was an extremely difficult decision to leave a 20-year history in the northwest suburbs of Chicago -- friends, patients, and a geographic familiarity that made living everyday life easy. However, the increasing suburbanization with the concomitant increase in traffic was choking us off from using Chicago in any meaningful sense. More important, the constant threat of lawsuits crowned by a suit from a patient I had never seen nor treated was the driving force that uprooted us. It was the best thing I have ever done.
"If people tell you tort reform isn't important, don't believe them. The contrast between practicing in a highly litigious area versus a low one is incredible. While I knew it was taking a toll on my life and affecting my practice style, I had no idea how much until I got out here. Using my clinical judgment without the threat of second-guessing and Monday-morning quarterbacking not only improves care, but also drastically cuts down on CYA testing. It's great to be a doctor rather than a fearful technician wondering from where the next hit is coming. ..." -- Eric Sigmond (Calhoun '73) in the March/April Class Notes. And a few pages away, there's this from the Class of '65: "Frustrated by inadequate third-party compensation and exorbitant malpractice insurance premiums, Charlie Beaumont retired two years ago from private orthopedic surgical practice in Waterbury, Connecticut. However, he's still putting his skills to good use, doing missionary surgery/medicine abroad."