Iowa is the best state in the country to practice medicine overall, according to a new analysis published by WalletHub—but doctors may be happier in other states depending on their priorities.
WalletHub ranked states and the District of Columbia based on 14 weighted metrics in two categories:
- Opportunity and competition, which included metrics such as earnings (adjusted for cost of living), the uninsured rate, and the number of doctors per capita; and
- Medical environment, which included metrics such as public hospital quality, aggressiveness of state medical boards, and malpractice award payout per capita.
WalletHub ranked Iowa first overall, followed by:
6. South Dakota;
9. Alabama; and
The lowest-ranked states to practice medicine, according to WalletHub, are:
51. New York;
50. District of Columbia;
49. New Jersey;
47. Rhode Island;
42. Delaware; and
WalletHub also broke down the states by the individual metrics, which experts said could be more compelling for doctors based on their priorities. For instance, the three states with the highest annual wage were Indiana, Mississippi, and Georgia. Meanwhile, the states that had the highest malpractice awards per capita were New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Ultimately, though, experts told WalletHub that while the rankings are a valuable resource for new doctors mulling where to practice, doctors should also consider factors such as managed care rates, state rankings on overall health, and the accessibility of tertiary care facilities (Kiernan, Wallet Hub, 3/27; Ellison, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/27).
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