Best States to Practice 2011

Wondering if the grass really is greener on the other side? Trying to keep up with the Joneses? Just plain curious to see where you stand among your peers? We've got you covered.Whether you've just finishing up residency, are an established physician considering a move, or you just want to know how your state stacks up against the rest, we've gathered all the relevant information to help enlighten you.Across the country, state by state, we've looked at the key factors influencing the profitability and stability of your practice: cost-of-living rates, tax burden data, malpractice climate numbers, physician-density statistics, and more. Then, to determine the best states to practice, we've compiled that data and ranked each state according to its performance in each category. We’ve gathered here the five best-and five worst-places to be a doctor. We’ve also compiled all the data and every state (and the District of Columbia) into a handy sortable chart here.A few important notes: We didn't consider factors that are strictly lifestyle-oriented, such as weather, great restaurants, or proximity to cultural institutions. New York may have the best museums and Southern California the best weather. But you will pay dearly to live in such places, and it's the cost of living and practicing that matters for our purposes. Only you can decide the kind of lifestyle you want and what you're willing to sacrifice (financially and otherwise) to get it. Also, we do not attempt to rank the states from best to worst overall. We've identified five that are clearly among the best, five that are true stinkers, and are offering you the data necessary to make your own judgments about particular states.