The 10 Best States to Work in As a Physician

Gary Bauer

The 10 Best States to Work in As a Physician MedSource Consultants

Where you practice matters. It’s not just a lifestyle issue, either. Reimbursement, compliance rules, and even the salary you receive if a hospital employs you, are affected by the area of the country you live in. One side of the career coin is which locations have the best schools, entertainment, or amenities. On the other side is the cost of living, average malpractice insurance rates, and of course, the amount of state business taxes. Physicians Practice magazine looked at all the states and determined the best choices for doctors looking for a new practice setting.

Criteria for “Best” States for Doctors

Physicians Practice based their rankings on the following criteria:

  • Cost of living
  • Physician density
  • State business taxes collected based on corporate tax rate, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment insurance tax, and property tax
  • Average cost of malpractice insurance
  • Quality of life based on Wallethub’s Best States to Retire
  • Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI) for physician reimbursement

Choosing your next practice location incorporates emotional elements such as whether the state or city is a good fit for you and your family. However, this list offers us a good starting point when looking at the entire country and trying to hone your search.

Top 10 States to Practice, 2022:

#1 Idaho

#2 South Dakota
#3 Kansas
#4 North Dakota
#5 Iowa
#6 Indiana
#7 Wyoming
#8 Wisconsin
#9 Tennessee
#10 Utah

Are there other rankings out there that are different from the Physicians Practice list? Absolutely. The top 10 states from MedScape were reported in Becker’s ASC Review this year and the list included the top city as well:

#1 Idaho (Boise)
#2 Georgia (Peachtree City)
#3 South Dakota (Sioux Falls)
#4 Texas (Flower Mount
#5 Indiana (Carmel)
#6 North Dakota (Fargo)
#7 Nebraska (Omaha)
#8 Oklahoma (Jenks)
#9 Utah (South Jordan)
#10 Florida (Orlando)

Zippia has their own list, with some basic demographic information thrown in:

State                           Average Annual Salary                       Highest 10% Earn

#1 Wisconsin              $180,503                                             $271,000

#2 North Dakota        $176,815                                             $269,000

#3 South Dakota        $172,822                                             $266,000

#4 North Carolina      $178,023                                             $266,000

#5 West Virginia         $174,807                                             $264,000

#6 Ohio                       $181,890                                             $270,000

#7 Mississippi             $176,522                                             $266,000

#8 Missouri                $179,564                                             $270,000

#9 Oklahoma              $171,671                                             $262,000

#10 Alaska                  $170,299                                             $268,000

One thing we know for sure; state laws and regulations have a huge impact on your practice. Beyond reimbursement, ancillary rules such as NP licensure and prescription rights could affect how your practice operates. Some states are ranked for the highest salaries while other states have higher physician burnout rates. Physicians Thrive looked at a variety of factors for their “best of list.” For example, they point out that if you look strictly at median physician salary and cost of living, Kentucky would rank number one.

They suggest doctors should look at a variety of factors beyond compensation including:

  • Healthcare quality rankings
  • Cost of living
  • Number of patients vs. doctors (i.e., physician density)
  • Rate of malpractice suits
  • Quality of life, including crime rates
  • Incentives to practice

You thought medicine was complicated. It can be overwhelming to look at all of the factors related to choosing your next move. MedSource Consultants is in your corner. We have extensive experience working with clinicians throughout the US to find the perfect career opportunity. Contact us to find out how we can help you make the right decision.