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 2017 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.
About the Metrics
Cost of Living: Index data is from Q2 2017 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 (one to 9 years following completion of residency training).
Source: Doximity, 2017-2018 Residency Navigator, a comprehensive directory of 4000 U.S. medical residency programs encompassing 28 specialties. Residency Navigator is powered by 260,000 peer nominations, ratings and reviews.
Tax Climate: State Tax Collections Per Capita, Fiscal Year 2012 (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 2017
Physician Density: Total active physicians per 100,000 population.
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, Total Professionally Active Physicians, April 2017and U.S. Census Bureau Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: July 1, 2016
Malpractice Premiums: Average of lowest an highest rates per state, by various state, regional and national carriers in 2017. Data provided by medical malpractice specialists Cunningham Group; averages determined by Physicians Practice.
Source: Cunningham Group
NOTE: The following states also indicate the base rate plus Patient’s Compensation Fund surcharge: Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
GPCI: Medicare Work GPCI: 2017 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)