WalletHub on Monday released its 2023 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.
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:
The Medical Environment category consisted of eight metrics, each weighted 3.75 points, including:
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 10 lowest-ranked states in which to practice medicine, according to WalletHub, were:
50. Rhode Island
48. New Jersey
47. District of Columbia
46. New Mexico
44. New York
WalletHub also released states' rankings on several individual metrics. For instance, Missouri ranked first for average annual wage for physicians (adjusted for cost of living), while Washington, D.C. ranked last on the metric.
Washington, D.C. also had the most punitive state medical board, while Kentucky had the least, according to WalletHub. Meanwhile, WalletHub found that annual malpractice liability insurance cost was the least in Nebraska and the most in New York.
WalletHub also asked a panel of experts about the biggest issues facing doctors today.
Maxwell Mehlman, a professor of law and co-director of the Law Medicine Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, said a "loss of professionalism" from the pressures placed on doctors by their employers or practice owners is one of the biggest issues facing doctors today.
"These pressures preclude them from advocating for their patient's welfare due to lack of time and concerns about annoying their employers/practice owners," Mehlman said.
Meanwhile, Adam Block, an associate professor of public health at New York Medical College, said one of the biggest issues facing doctors today is change.
"Providers need to navigate changing rules among electronic medical records, changing science, and changing insurance/reimbursement rules all at the same time and that is a challenge," Block said. (Kiernan, WalletHub, 3/20)
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