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March 17, 2020

Map: The best (and worst) states for doctors, according to WalletHub

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    WalletHub on Monday released its 2020 ranking of the "Best & Worst States for Doctors," which ranks all 50 states and Washington, D.C. on factors such as average annual wage and quality of public hospital systems.

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    About the list

    WalletHub ranked the 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on 19 weighted metrics grouped into two categories: "Opportunity and Competition," worth up to 70 points, and "Medical Environment," worth up to 30 points.

    The Opportunity and Competition category consisted of 11 weighted metrics, including:

    • Average annual wage (11.67 points);
    • Average monthly starting salary (5.83 points);
    • Hospitals per capita (5.83 points); and
    • Insured population rate (5.83 points).

    The Medical Environment category consisted of eight metrics each weighted 3.75 points, including:

    • Quality of public hospital systems;
    • Presence of nationally accredited health departments; and
    • Punitiveness of state medical boards.

    Each metric was scored on a 0 to 100-point scale, with 0 representing the least favorable conditions for a provider. WalletHub then used those scores to calculate each state's weighted average across all metrics and determine a final score.

    The best and worst states for doctors

    WalletHub ranked Montana as the No. 1 state in which to practice medicine, followed by:

    1. Wisconsin;
    2. Idaho;
    3. North Dakota;
    4. Minnesota;
    5. Kansas;
    6. Iowa;
    7. Tennessee;
    8. Mississippi; and
    9. Nebraska

    The 10 lowest-ranked states in which to practice medicine, according to WalletHub, were:

    1. New York;
    2. Rhode Island;
    3. Connecticut;
    4. Massachusetts;
    5. Alaska;
    6. New Jersey;
    7. Washington, D.C.;
    8. Maryland;
    9. Delaware; and
    10. Hawaii.

    WalletHub also released states' rankings on several individual metrics. For instance, Mississippi ranked first for average annual wage for physicians (adjusted for cost of living), while Washington, D.C., ranked last on that metric.

    Massachusetts had the least punitive state medical board, while Delaware had the most punitive, according to WalletHub. Further, WalletHub found that annual malpractice liability insurance cost he least in Wisconsin and the most in New York (Kiernan, WalletHub, 3/16).

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