Location, location, location

The best and worst states for doctors in 2021

Montana leads WalletHub’s new list, while Rhode Island comes in last. See where your state landed.

In 2021, Montana, Minnesota and Idaho are the best states in which to practice medicine, while Rhode Island, Alaska and New York are the most challenging, according to WalletHub’s recent list of the best and worst states for physicians.

To create the list, WalletHub examined 19 different factors that impact the practice of medicine, including average wages, CME requirements, job competition, hospital safety and malpractice insurance rates. WalletHub did not specifically look at factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When it comes to compensation, Mississippi, Indiana and South Dakota offer the highest wages adjusted for cost of living, WalletHub found. Doctors’ wages are the lowest in Washington, DC, Massachusetts and California.

Competition for jobs is projected to be the highest in Washington, DC, Rhode Island and New York by 2028, while Nevada, Arizona and Mississippi are projected to be the least competitive states for doctors seeking work in seven years.

Below is WalletHub’s list of the best and worst states for doctors, 1 being the best, 51 being the worst.

WalletHub’s best and worst states for doctors

1. Montana

2. Minnesota

3. Idaho

4. Wisconsin

5. Kansas

6. Tennessee

7. North Dakota

8. Nebraska

9. Mississippi

10. Iowa

11. Arizona

12. Alabama

13. Maine

14. South Dakota

15. Georgia

16. Utah

17. Oklahoma

18. Louisiana

19. Nevada

20. Kentucky

21. West Virginia

22. Indiana

23. Missouri

24. Texas

25. North Carolina

26. Wyoming

27. Washington

28. Colorado

29. Michigan

30. Florida

31. Pennsylvania

32. Arkansas

33. Ohio

34. South Carolina

35. Vermont

36. California

37. Virginia

38. New Mexico

39. Oregon

40. Illinois

41. Maryland

42. New Hampshire

43. Hawaii

44. Connecticut

45. Delaware

46. Massachusetts

47. New Jersey

48. Washington, DC

49. New York

50. Alaska

51. Rhode Island

Related reading:

Best and worst states for doctors in 2020: Minnesota leads the way, Arizona comes in last

The best and worst states for health care in 2020


  1. anonymous

    New Mexico should be listed as 50. There is a sales tax on doctor visits. Also a huge lack of specialty care. Patients are often sent out of state.


      You are so right. Everyone I know that needed Specialty Care is sent out of state. My sister died of Cancer. They sent her out of state when they could do no more. They told her she was Cancer free and she was not. They stopped treatment. I believe had she been in another state or at least started her care somewhere else. She would have lived.

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