The best and worst states to be a doctor

South Carolina tops the list

WalletHub this week released its list of the best and worst states for physicians based on several metrics, including wages and job opportunities.

For the report, all of the states and Washington, D.C., were rated on 12 metrics sorted into two categories:

  • Environment, or risks of the job, such as state medical board penalties, malpractice payouts, and costs of malpractice insurance; and
  • Job opportunity and competition.

Data for the report were taken from Citizen.org, Diederich Healthcare, HHS, the Missouri Economic Research & Information Center, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Here's where doctors make the highest salaries. (It may surprise you.)

Based on those categories, WalletHub identified the five best states for doctors as:

    1. South Carolina
    2. Minnesota
    3. Texas
    4. Mississippi
    5. Kansas

Meanwhile, the five worst states for doctors were:

    1. Rhode Island
    2. New Jersey
    3. Oregon
    4. New York
    5. Maine

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In the report, Emily Dow, CMO of UC-Irvine Health's Family Health Center and a professor at the UC-Irvine School of Medicine, wrote that states can attract more primary care physicians by "promot[ing] primary care as the bedrock of health and wellness."

Dow added, "Having an adequate supply of primary care physicians should not just be a local issue, but a national policy so that everyone has access to primary care no matter where you live" (Kaltwasser, Physician's Money Digest, 3/30; Beth Hensley, WTOP, 3/30).

More data on doctors:


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