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Find Your Best State to Practice Medicine

Find Your Best State to Practice Medicine

If you’re wondering where the most ideal places to practice medicine are, our Best States to Practice project has been a great place to start for more than10 years. We gather and analyze the data that most affect physicians’ practices, then rank the states on their performance in each category.

You can find out this year's best and worst states to practice, based on our 2016 data, as well as access a clickable map of the United States to see how physician-friendly your current state is as well.

Because individual physicians’ needs and preferences differ, we’re now putting the power in your hands to determine your Best States to Practice. Below are the six data categories that we use in ranking the states (and below that are detailed explanations for each metric).

Choose a weight for each of the metrics, making sure that the total equals 100 percent. For example, you might alter the weight for the Medicare metric depending on your practice’s Medicare patient mix.

Then click on the “Calculate My Best States!” button to see how the states rank based on your preferences. The name of each state is linked to further information about that state.

Cost of Living
Residency Retention
Tax Climate
Physician Density*
Malpractice Paid Loss

About the Metrics

Cost of Living: Index data is from Q2 2016 Cost of Living Data Series, Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
Source: Missouri Department of Economic Development

Residency Retention Rate: Post-residency retention rate percentage by state (two to 12 years following completion of residency training.)
Source: Doximity, 2016-2017 Residency Navigator, a comprehensive guide to over 4,000 residency programs across 27 specialties

Tax Climate: State Tax Collections Per Capita, Fiscal Year 2014 (taxes collected represent property taxes, sales taxes, licensing and permit taxes, income taxes, and other forms of taxes such as severance taxes or death/gift taxes).
Source: The Tax Foundation Facts & Figures 2016

Physician Density: Total active physicians per 100,000 population.
Source: Association of American Medical Colleges 2015 State Physician Workforce Data Book

Malpractice Paid Loss: Amount paid in malpractice awards per state (in $000), from the National Practitioner Data Bank Public Use File, December 31, 2015.
Source: The Doctors Company

GPCI: Medicare GPCI: 2016 Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCIs) by state and Medicare locality. (* Indicates average of all municipalities / locations in state.)
Source: E-MDs (with data from CMS)


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