For the third consecutive year, Minnesota ranks first in Medscape's annual list of the best places to practice medicine in the United States, which this year focused on the states with the "secret sauce" that makes them great locations for physicians.
For the list, Medscape compiled data from multiple sources between March 10 and 12, including its own reports on physician compensation; physician depression and/or burnout; and lifestyle and happiness; as well as data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, U.S. News and World Report, Commonwealth Fund, Kaiser Family Foundation, and others.
Medscape considered 10 metrics, including seven "hard" measures—such as malpractice payouts, compensation, and health system performance—and three "soft" measures, including rates of burnout and happiness at work and outside of work.
According to Medscape, the 10 best states in which to practice medicine are:
- North Carolina
Medscape's Shelley Reese writes that physicians in Minnesota report burnout and/or depression rates below the national average, while the share of physicians who say they are "'very happy' outside of work" is above the national average. In addition, the state ranks high for livability and overall performance for health systems, based on Medscape's metrics. It also has a low rate of "adverse actions against doctors."
Meanwhile, according to Medscape, the five worst states in which to practice medicine are:
- West Virginia
- New Mexico;
- Rhode Island
According to Reese, West Virginia "ranks among the least livable and healthy" states, and doctors there face a "high rate of adverse actions," with malpractice payouts last year proportionally high when compared with the small population (Reese, "Best & Worst Places to Practice 2021," Medscape, 5/21; Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 5/24).