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Find Your Best State to Practice


Use our new Best States to Practice tool to find the ideal location for you to practice medicine in the U.S.

My Best States to Practice 2012

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 the last 10 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 2012 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
Disciplinary Actions
Tax Burden
Medicare GPCI
Physician Density
Malpractice Awards


About the Metrics

  • Cost of Living: Data is from First Quarter 2012, Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Missouri Department of Economic Development.
  • State medical board discipinary action against physicians (per 1000 physicians): The number of actions annually per 1,000 physicians taken by the state medical boards. Fewer actions per 1,000 physicians generally indicate a climate of physician independence. Disciplinary rate for the period is calculated by averaging the disciplinary rates over the three-year period 2009 - 2011. Source: Public Citizen.
  • Tax Climate: State and Local Tax Burden Per Capita. Fiscal Year 2009. Source: The Tax Foundation.
  • Medicare GPCI: Data compiled by E-MDs. Source: CMS 2012 Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCIs) and Anesthesia CF by State and Medicare Locality. Note: Because CMS calculates GPCIs by metro area, the GPCIs in states with more than one were averaged.
  • Physician Density: Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012
    * Lower physician density usually means higher pay and more leverage over working conditions, so our ranking assumes the “lower is better.” If you prefer to have a higher density of physicians, set the weight for that metric at zero.
  • Malpractice Claims: State rank in medical malpractice claims and amount paid per capita in each state in 2010. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation


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