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The country's best—and worst—places to practice medicine

Medscape IDs top physician environments within six U.S. regions

May 23, 2012

Medscape Medical News this week released its list of the "Best Places to Practice in America," which evaluates each U.S. state to identify the most favorable environments for physicians. 

For the list, Medscape divided the United States into six regions and evaluated states within those regions based on myriad physician-related criteria, including physician density, compensation, malpractice insurance, medical board activity, and state taxes.

The best places to practice medicine

Using its state evaluations, Medscape identified the best states to practice medicine within each of the six regions:

  • Southwest and South Central region: Utah
  • West and Northwest region: Idaho
  • Southeast region: Georgia
  • Mid-Atlantic region: Virginia
  • Great Lakes and North Central region: South Dakota
  • Northeast: New Hampshire

The worst places to practice medicine

Medscape also identified the worst states to practice medicine with each of the six regions:

  • Southwest and South Central region: Arizona
  • West and Northwest region: Alaska
  • Southeast region: Florida
  • Mid-Atlantic region: Washington, D.C.
  • Great Lakes and North Central region: Illinois
  • Northeast: Connecticut

'Best places' are not always where you expect, recruiters say

According to physician recruiters, many physicians enter the job market hoping to work in places they have long considered "best" markets, while others opt to practice where they trained.

"I talk to physicians all the time who say, 'I want California, Washington, or North Carolina," says Merritt Hawkins Senior Vice President Tommy Bohannon, adding, "But when you get into it, what they're really saying is, 'I want San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, or Raleigh" (Medscape report, 5/21; Reese, Medscape Medical News, 5/21).

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