Best & worst states for physicians

Physicians are among the most educated and best-compensated professionals in the country. In fact, “doctor” is one of the most prominent job titles within the top tier of earners. And the high salary average is understandable, given the necessity of their work and the challenges that go hand-in-hand with life in the medical field.

But physicians don’t always start out with money to spare. Believe it or not, the average med school student graduated with nearly $200,000 in debt last year. And then there’s healthcare reform. The medical field continues to change as reform efforts are made year in and year out. Physicians now have to deal with things like the rise of branded hospital networks and the retirement of Baby Boomers, on top of the typical challenges that come with caring for patients.

Because working conditions for physicians differ in each state, WalletHub conducted a study to help determine which state was the best to practice in. They compared all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., across 16 key metrics including average annual salary and hospitals per capita. Check out some of their findings and their methodology below.

Top 10 states to practice in:

  1. South Dakota
  2. Nebraska
  3. Idaho
  4. Iowa
  5. Minnesota
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Kansas
  8. Montana
  9. North Dakota
  10. Wyoming

Other key findings to note:

  • Idaho has the lowest projected competition by 2024; Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. are tied for the highest.
  • Delaware, the state with the most punitive medical board, was 13 times more likely to punish a physician than Maine, the state with the least punitive medical board.
  • New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York are neck and neck with the highest malpractice award payout amount per capita, coming in at 35 times the amount for Wisconsin, the state with the lowest.


In order to find the best state to practice in, WalletHub compared two key elements, “Medical Environment” and “Opportunity & Competition.”

They evaluated each of those dimensions using 16 relevant data points, each graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most agreeable conditions for practicing physicians. Next, a weighted average of all metrics was calculated for each state and D.C. to determine their overall scores. Click here to view the full report.

To learn more about where you can practice with CardioSolution, visit our job board or call 866-755-7519.