May 17, 2017

The best—and worst—places to practice medicine, according to Medscape

Daily Briefing

    Minneapolis ranks first in Medscape's annual list of the best places to practice medicine in the United States, which this year focuses on locations that help providers avoid burnout and live "a calmer and happier life."

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    Methods

    For the list, Medscape compiled data from sources, including its own Physician Compensation Report, CDC, Gallup, and the FBI.

    To rank states, Medscape compiled data from twelve 50-state rankings that evaluated factors such as the number of medical board actions per physician, the number of malpractice lawsuits per physician, and compensation. Researchers also evaluated individual markets based on the population's rate of insurance coverage, overall wellbeing, and other quality-of-life considerations, such as lifestyle amenities and the rate of violent crime. 

    According to Medscape, the metric on medical board actions per physician is pulled from 2009 data, refined by Public Citizen, because medical boards are no longer reporting their actions.

    Rankings

    According to MedScape, the best locations to practice medicine are:

    1. Minneapolis;
    2. Madison, Wisconsin;
    3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota;
    4. Des Moines, Iowa;
    5. Burlington, Vermont;
    6. Manchester, New Hampshire;
    7. Boston;
    8. Fargo, North Dakota;
    9. Portland, Maine; and
    10. Overland Park, Kansas.

    Medscape's Leigh Page writes that Minnesota might be particularly attractive to physicians because the state has the fourth healthiest population and the second-highest rate of employer-sponsored health insurance in the country. In addition, the state has the 17th lowest number of malpractice suits in the United States and ranks third-highest for practices that collaborate among doctors, PAs, and NPs.

    Meanwhile, according to MedScape, the worst places to practice medicine are:

    1. New Orleans;
    2. Phoenix;
    3. Las Vegas;
    4. Albuquerque, New Mexico;  and
    5. Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    According to Page, Louisiana has the highest number of malpractice suits per capita, the least healthy population in the country, and the eighth-lowest rate of employer-sponsored health insurance. The state also reports the ninth-lowest average income, according to Medscape (Page, Medscape, 5/10; Rappleye, Becker's Hospital Review, 5/10; Finnegan, FierceHealthcare, 5/10).   

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