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2017 Best States to Practice: The Top Five: Page 4 of 5

2017 Best States to Practice: The Top Five: Page 4 of 5

CALIFORNIA

Newly minted president of the California Medical Association (CMA), otolaryngologist Ted Mazer, MD, has worked at his San Diego-based practice for 29 years.

Having grown up in New York and attended the University of Buffalo for his undergraduate studies, moving to a more forgiving climate was tops on his list when he made the decision to relocate in 1988. "Weather was certainly an attraction for me. I [also] thought it was a great opportunity to practice in a high-tech area with good hospitals, good equipment, and I wanted to be somewhere at the forefront of medicine," says Mazer.

In this year's Physicians Practice ranking, California finished in the top ten of all states three times, with high marks in residency retention, a favorable Medicare GCPI, and malpractice premiums.

For Mazer, California is a great state to practice medicine because it is an ideal place to live first and foremost, with a good educational system and an endless number of leisure activities. "Boating, skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, you name it, California has it. I'm in San Diego, so I cannot talk so positively about sports teams these days, but that's here too for most of the state," says Mazer. 

When it comes to a clinical perspective, Mazer points to the large number of medical schools with residency programs generating the next generation of physicians who are eager to use new technology and participate in advocacy like he has never witnessed before.

"This is a very bright group of students who always seem to have more than medicine on their mind," says Mazer, who enjoys speaking to medical students often through his work with the CMA.

Furthermore, Mazer believes California is ahead of other states when it comes to the intensity and willingness of its younger physicians.

"I get a lot of interaction with other state medical societies through my involvement with the American Medical Association and there are a few that have intensity with their young physicians, but I don't think it's anything close to what I see in California. I'm encouraged we have a good future here when it comes to the leadership of medicine," says Mazer.

Mazer credits California's diverse population of backgrounds and cultures with making the practice of medicine unique to the state. "We have pathology that you don't see in less diverse states. You have both the challenge and the fun of dealing with people in different languages. This is all part of the excitement of practicing medicine," says Mazer.

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