The best (and worst) states for doctors, according to Medscape

Minnesota ranks first in Medscape's annual list of the best places to practice medicine in the United States, which this year focused on places "where physicians can thrive" at work and in their community.

Infographic: The proactive plan to engage newly hired physicians

Methods

For the list, Medscape compiled data from multiple sources including its own reports on physician compensation; physician burnout, depression and suicide; and lifestyle and happiness; as well as data from the Commonwealth Fund, Kaiser Family FoundationWalletHub, and others.

Medscape considered 14 key criteria, including metrics related to physician work life and happiness, the fiscal and regulatory landscape affecting physicians in each state, the state health system's overall performance, and a state's overall livability.

Rankings

According to Medscape, the 10 best states in which to practice medicine are:

  1. Minnesota;
  2. Iowa;
  3. Wisconsin;
  4. Utah;
  5. Hawaii;
  6. Washington;
  7. Nebraska;
  8. South Dakota;
  9. Massachusetts; and
  10. Vermont.

Medscape's Marcia Frellick writes that physicians in Minnesota have some of the lowest burnout rates in the country. In addition, the state ranks high for affordability, culture, and livability. Frellick noted physician compensation in the state averaged $322,000.

Meanwhile, according to Medscape, the five worst states in which to practice medicine are:

  1. Kentucky;
  2. West Virginia;
  3. Louisiana;
  4. Nevada; and
  5. Oklahoma.

While most physicians in Kentucky said they were happy outside of work, Frellick writes that half of them said they were burned out. In addition, Kentucky's malpractice payouts were above the national average, and the state overall has a low health system performance by Medscape's metrics (Frellick, Medscape, 5/10; Medscape "Best & Worst Places to Practice 2019," 5/8).

Learn more: The proactive plan to engage newly hired physicians

Hospitals increasingly employ physicians but continue to struggle with engagement and turnover. Robust physician onboarding is leaders’ critical opportunity to sustain—and build on—new hires’ naturally high engagement levels during their first year of tenure.

Download this infographic to learn how to drive engagement across physicians’ first 90 days at your organization and beyond.

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