The definitive ranking of which states are best for physicians.
2022 Physicians Practice definitive best states for doctors: 50-41
#50: New York
New York brings up the bottom of our rankings after falling into the bottom 10 in five of the six criteria. The state's highest ranking was in the cost of malpractice insurance where it ranked 39th.
Cost of living: 49
Physician density: 48
Amount of state business taxes collected: 49
Average malpractice insurance rates: 39
Quality of life: 48
#49 New Jersey ranked last in both quality of life and state taxes, but was ranked in the low-40s in most other metrics.
Cost of living: 38
Physician density: 40
Amount of state business taxes collected: 50
Average malpractice insurance rates: 41
Quality of life: 50
#48 Maryland's rankings were squarely in the 40s across five of the metrics, but it was ranked 30th in quality of life.
Cost of living: 45
Physician density: 49
Amount of state business taxes collected: 46
Average malpractice insurance rates: 44
Quality of life: 30
Connecticut ranked in the mid-40s for five of the criteria, but ranked 29th in quality of life; buoyed by ranking 4 overall in life expectancy.
Cost of living: 43
Physician density: 45
Amount of state business taxes collected: 47
Average malpractice insurance rates: 47
Quality of life: 29
#46 Rhode Island's rankings fall into the high 30s and low 40s. It was tied with Connecticut, but it fell four ranks ahead on GCPI.
Cost of living: 37
Physician density: 46
Amount of state business taxes collected: 40
Average malpractice insurance rates: 42
Quality of life: 44
#45 Illinois ranked very well in cost of living and very poorly in average malpractice insurance rates. The other rankings were in the 30s and 40s.
Cost of living: 14
Physician density: 33
Amount of state business taxes collected: 36
Average malpractice insurance rates: 50
Quality of life: 45
#44 Massachusetts was bumped up in its ranking due to it's strong showing in quality of life.
Cost of living: 47
Physician density: 50
Amount of state business taxes collected: 34
Average malpractice insurance rates: 35
Quality of life: 19
#43 Louisiana's cost of living and middle of the road physician density boosted its ranking while most of the other rankings were in the mid-40s.
Cost of living: 17
Physician density: 25
Amount of state business taxes collected: 42
Average malpractice insurance rates: 48
Quality of life: 41
#42 Pennsylvania's quality of life and cost of living boosted its ranking wile most other rankings were in the 40s.
Cost of living: 27
Physician density: 43
Amount of state business taxes collected: 29
Average malpractice insurance rates: 43
Quality of life: 21
#41 Hawaii sits in the top 10 when it comes to average malpractice insurance costs, but rock bottom when it comes to cost of living.
Cost of living: 51
Physician density: 41
Amount of state business taxes collected: 41
Average malpractice insurance rates: 8
Quality of life: 26
Wondering where to start your practice? Curious where your state stacks up? Need something to rib your out-of-state colleagues about at the next conference? Look no further than this definitive ranking of which states in the union are the best suited for practicing medicine in 2022.
These rankings are based on six criteria using data from publicly available sources and Physicians Practice partners. The criteria are:
Cost of living
Amount of state business taxes collected
Average malpractice insurance rates
Quality of life
Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI)
Physicians Practice averaged each state’s ranking in the six criteria. The GPCI was used to break any ties.
The physician density rankings are based on the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2021 State Physician Workforce Data Report. This biennial report is based on data from the American Medical Association, the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, and the National GME Census.
State business taxes collected
This ranking was based on the Tax Foundation’s Facts & Figures How Does Your State Compare? 2022. In particular, Physicians Practice used Table 3 which ranked the states on five criteria: corporate tax, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment insurance tax, and property tax.
Average malpractice insurance
The raw data used to calculate the average malpractice insurance cost was provided by the Cunningham Group. That data was then averaged out by Physicians Practice.
Quality of life
For the quality of life metric, Physicians Practice used Wallethub’s Best States to Retire rankings which were based on adjusted cost of living, lowest annual cost of in-home services, their own taxpayer ranking, the percentage of the workforce aged 65 and older, museums per capita, theaters per capita, percentage of population aged 65 and older, life expectancy, and property crime rate.
CMS uses the Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI) to adjust Medicare physician payments to account for geographic differences in physicians’ costs. Each GPCI corresponds to one of the three main components of a Medicare physician payment. They are: physician work, practice expense, and malpractice expense. For the purposes of these rankings, Physicians Practices averaged the three GPCI’s together for each state, and major municipalities contained in each state. The lower the GPCI, the higher the ranking. Because of the importance of these criteria, specifically practice expenses, Physicians Practice used GPCI rankings as a tie-breaker in the event of a tie.