Best & Worst States for Doctors as Reported by WalettHub

The following article and study was published by WalettHub on March 25, 2019.  The company provides consumers with very valuable information beyond healthcare.  We encourage you to visit their website and discover how valuable it is.  https://wallethub.com

ABOUT WALLETHUB

hat just an appetizer, as we’ve built the brain of an artificially intelligent financial advisor that will truly leave your wallet full. WWalletHub is the first-ever website to offer free credit scores and full credit reports that are updated on a daily basis. But we consider talletHub’s brain performs three primary functions, providing: 1) Customized credit-improvement advice; 2) Personalized savings alerts; and 3) 24/7 wallet surveillance. Such features are supplemented by more reviews of financial products, professionals and companies than any other website offers and a diverse community of subject matter experts. WalletHub is owned by Evolution Finance, Inc. and is based in Washington, DC.

Best & Worst States for Doctors

Doctors are among the highest-paid and most educated professionals in the U.S. In fact, “physician” was the highest-paid job type in 2018, with a median base salary of over $195,000 and over 3,000 job openings during the year. The high salary average makes sense, given the importance of their life-saving work and the struggles that come with life in the medical profession.

But doctors don’t always start out wealthy. The average medical-school graduate left campus with more than $196,000 of debt in 2018. The medical profession has also been undergoing intense transformation in recent years. Health-care reform, the rise of branded hospital networks and the retirement of Baby Boomers are all complicating the lives of doctors.

But working conditions for doctors aren’t the same everywhere in the U.S. In order to help doctors decide where to practice, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 18 key metrics. Our data set ranges from average annual wage of physicians to hospitals per capita to quality of public hospital system. Check out the complete ranking, additional expert commentary and a full description of our methodology below.

Best States to Practice Medicine

Overall Rank
(1=Best)
State Total Score ‘Opportunity & Competition’ Rank ‘Medical Environment’ Rank
1 Montana 69.15 31 17
2 Wisconsin 69.13 12 4
3 Idaho 68.55 17 8
4 Minnesota 68.32 23 2
5 Iowa 67.58 1 24
6 South Dakota 67.03 7 23
7 Kansas 66.65 2 9
8 Nebraska 65.81 4 7
9 Mississippi 64.70 6 34
10 North Dakota 64.50 13 27
11 Tennessee 63.78 20 20
12 Alabama 62.78 11 32
13 Colorado 60.03 27 5
14 Nevada 59.51 30 42
15 Oklahoma 59.38 3 31
16 Utah 59.31 29 11
17 Wyoming 58.50 36 50
18 Georgia 58.10 26 18
19 West Virginia 57.46 15 47
20 Louisiana 57.38 5 26
21 North Carolina 57.36 18 3
22 Maine 57.34 40 1
23 New Mexico 56.69 42 41
24 Arizona 56.42 32 35
25 South Carolina 56.02 14 44
26 Kentucky 55.89 9 45
27 Indiana 55.87 10 16
28 Washington 55.76 35 21
29 Missouri 55.06 24 36
30 Texas 54.69 19 6
31 Arkansas 54.19 33 29
32 Florida 53.99 22 28
33 Michigan 53.38 16 19
34 Pennsylvania 53.10 25 25
35 Oregon 52.83 28 12
36 Ohio 52.19 8 30
37 Virginia 52.12 38 14
38 New Hampshire 52.12 21 22
39 California 49.63 49 15
40 Illinois 49.37 34 46
41 Alaska 48.87 39 38
42 Vermont 48.81 41 13
43 Massachusetts 47.84 45 10
44 Maryland 46.36 47 40
45 Delaware 46.17 37 48
46 Hawaii 44.72 48 51
47 Connecticut 44.45 46 39
48 New Jersey 43.29 44 37
49 Rhode Island 42.83 43 43
50 District of Columbia 41.55 51 33
51 New York 34.01 50 49

Methodology

In order to identify the best states for doctors, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, “Opportunity & Competition” and “Medical Environment.”

We evaluated those dimensions using 18 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for practicing doctors.

We then determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

Opportunity & Competition – Total Points: 70

  • Physicians’ Average Annual Wage: Double Weight (~11.67 Points)
    Note: Data for this metric were adjusted for the cost of living.
  • Physicians’ Average Monthly Starting Salary: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
    Note: Data for this metric were adjusted for the cost of living.
  • Hospitals per Capita: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Insured Population Rate: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
    Note: “Population” includes noninstitutionalized civilians aged 16 and older.
  • Employer-Based Insurance Rate: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Projected Share of Elderly Population: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the projected percentage of the population aged 65 and older by 2030.
  • Current Competition: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
    Note: This metric measures both the number of physicians per 1,000 Residents and the percentage of the population living in a primary-care HPSA, or Health Professional Shortage Area. HPSAs, as defined by the Health Resources & Services Administration, “are designations that indicate health care provider shortages in: Primary care; Dental health; or Mental Health” and “may be geographic-, population-, or facility-based.”
  • Share of Medical Residents Retained: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
    Note: The metric measures the net number of medical residents being added to the physician workforce of each state.
  • Projected Competition: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the projected number of physicians per 1,000 Residents by 2026.
  • Number of CME Credits Required: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
    Note: “CME” stands for Continuing Medical Education, credits for which the state may require medical professionals to earn in order to maintain their licenses.
  • Presence of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Law: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on data from the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and considers whether compact legislation has been enacted, introduced or not been introduced.

Medical Environment – Total Points: 30

  • Quality of Public Hospital System: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
  • Hospitals Safety – Percentage of “A” Hospitals: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on data from Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade which ranked hospitals across the states based on 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data.
  • Presence of Nationally Accredited Health Departments: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
    Note: This binary metric measures the presence or absence of national accredited health departments in a state.
  • Physician Assistants per Capita: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
  • Punitiveness of State Medical Board: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the number of serious disciplinary actions (per 1,000 physicians) taken by the state medical board.
  • Malpractice Award Payout Amount per Capita: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
  • Annual Malpractice Liability Insurance Rate: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Council for Community and Economic Research, Health Resources & Services Administration, Association of American Medical Colleges, Projections Central’s State Occupational Projections, DBC Pri-Med, Professional Boundaries, Leapfrog Group, Public Health Accreditation Board, Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Diederich Healthcare.

 

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