Life and medicine

Best and worst states for doctors in 2019: Where docs can thrive, according to Medscape

Is Midwest best? Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin lead the list of best states for physicians this year.


Every year, Medscape attempts to chart the physician-friendliness of each state in the union. For 2019, the publisher examined self-reported physician burnout and happiness at work and at home alongside metrics on medical malpractice, physician pay, state livability and the health care systems in each state.

By focusing on these factors specifically, Medscape aimed to rank states based on where physicians are most able to thrive both at work and outside the office. This objective is similar to last year’s list, which focused on work-life balance, and a departure from 2017’s list, which prioritized physician burnout.

Wisconsin, Washington, South Dakota and Massachusetts are new to the top 10 list this year, each for different reasons.

Wisconsin has both a low cost of living and low malpractice payouts for claims against doctors, and physicians there report being happy at work. Physicians in Washington say they’re very happy both at work and at home, and the state ranks highly for health system performance.

Doctors in South Dakota have low levels of burnout and high levels of workplace satisfaction; they’re also well-compensated in a state with a low cost of living. Massachusetts ranks highly in overall quality-of-life metrics and also has a low rate of adverse actions against doctors.

Here are the top 10 states for physician satisfaction at work and at home, according to Medscape:

1. Minnesota

2. Iowa

3. Wisconsin

4. Utah

5. Hawaii

6. Washington

7. Nebraska

8. South Dakota

9. Massachusetts

10. Vermont

These are the worst five states for physicians, according to Medscape:

1. Kentucky

2. West Virginia

3. Louisiana

4. Nevada

5. Oklahoma

For more details, including information about Medscape’s methodology, see the full report.

More stories about physician state rankings:

Best and worst states for doctors in 2019: See where your state landed
Physicians in the Great Plains and Midwest states tend to have higher wages and the least expensive malpractice insurance, WalletHub analysis finds.

Best and worst states for doctor work, life happiness in 2018, according to Medscape
For maximum satisfaction at work and at home, Medscape suggests physicians consider relocating to North Dakota, Hawaii or Nebraska.

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