Doctors are among the highest-paid and most educated professionals in the U.S. In fact, “physician” was the highest-paid job type in 2018, with a median base salary of over $195,000 and over 3,000 job openings during the year. The high salary average makes sense, given the importance of their life-saving work and the struggles that come with life in the medical profession.
But doctors don’t always start out wealthy. The average medical-school graduate left campus with more than $196,000 of debt in 2018. The medical profession has also been undergoing intense transformation in recent years. Health-care reform, the rise of branded hospital networks and the retirement of Baby Boomers are all complicating the lives of doctors.
But working conditions for doctors aren’t the same everywhere in the U.S. In order to help doctors decide where to practice, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 18 key metrics. Our data set ranges from average annual wage of physicians to hospitals per capita to quality of public hospital system. Check out the complete ranking, additional expert commentary and a full description of our methodology below.
Best States to Practice Medicine
|State||Total Score||‘Opportunity & Competition’ Rank||‘Medical Environment’ Rank|
|50||District of Columbia||41.55||51||33|
Ask the Experts: The Future of the Medical Profession
Medicine is changing rapidly, and the way it is taught and practiced has to change too. The industry faces an aging population, new regulations and technological breakthroughs. With that in mind, we asked a panel of experts the following key questions:
- What are the biggest issues facing doctors today?
- How do state and local policies influence the lives of doctors and other medical professionals?
- What tips can you offer current medical students about what specialty to pursue and where to practice?
- To what extent does the threat of a malpractice lawsuit affect doctors’ ability to do their job?
- In evaluating the best states for doctors, what are the top five indicators?
- Taken altogether, has the ACA proven to be a net positive or net negative for physicians?