Regional medicine

Best and worst states for doctors in 2018: How’s medicine where you live?

Physicians in the Great Plains states are treated better than those in states with heavily populated urban centers, WalletHub analysis finds.

Source: WalletHub
This interactive map allows you to hover over each state to see its ranking; 1 is considered the best state for physicians, according to the analysis, and 51 is considered the worst. Source: WalletHub


If you’re a physician in South Dakota or Nebraska, your job satisfaction is likely significantly higher than it would be if you resided in Rhode Island or New Jersey, according to personal finance website WalletHub, which recently released its 2018 list of the best and worst states for doctors.

After examining average salary, projected competition, price of malpractice insurance and other metrics in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., WalletHub ranked each state for physician-friendliness based on these factors.

Physician wages, adjusted for cost of living, are highest in Mississippi and South Dakota and lowest in Hawaii and Washington, D.C., WalletHub found. Another key finding: Malpractice insurance is priciest in New York and Illinois and most affordable in Nebraska and South Dakota.

With the exception of Idaho, Great Plains and Midwestern states filled out WalletHub’s top 10 list, while its bottom 10 included several coastal states with heavily populated urban areas and a high cost of living.

Here are the top 10 best states for doctors in 2018, according to WalletHub:

1. South Dakota
2. Nebraska
3. Idaho
4. Iowa
5. Minnesota
6. Wisconsin
7. Kansas
8. Montana
9. North Dakota
10. Wyoming

Here are the 10 worst states for doctors in 2018, according to WalletHub:

42. Illinois
43. California
44. Maryland
45. Oregon
46. Massachusetts
47. Washington, D.C.
48. Hawaii
49. New York
50. Rhode Island
51. New Jersey

View the full list of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and learn more about the project’s methodology at WalletHub.


  1. Peter Costantini

    Interesting how all the terrible states are Democratic states and yet the large medical societies support the Democrats. Who are your working for????

    1. Dr. LunNess-Reih

      Democrat states are terrible, maybe citizens in Illinois and California should pay attention to the downfall of their states.

      1. Alex Iacono

        As the article clearly states those regions have higher cost of living and insurance costs and have larger patient populations which are much more likely factors to overall physician friendliness if you look at their other criteria as well none of them are about red vs blue states. The predominant factors appear to be cost of living ,salary, malpractice and how strict the medical boards are in each of those states. Please refrain from blatantly inflammatory/argumentative statements on these articles. As they go against the guidelines which I will post below for convenience

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  2. Dr. Maureen Merritt

    Leave politics out of it. Notice that all the 10 ‘worst’ states for doctors in this survey are COASTAL states? Yes even Illinois ( Lake Michigan, an inland ocean). Ergo, popular places to live, recreate, practice, etc.. thus higher cost of living, more dense population, pricier housing, more competition. Many of these same states also have world-class Universities/Research centers. Whether a state is red, purple or blue is largely incidental. Get the picture?

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