State of affairs

The best and worst states for doctors in 2024

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


In 2024, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska are the best states for practicing medicine, while Hawaii, Rhode Island and New Jersey are the most difficult, according to WalletHub’s recently released list of the best and worst states for physicians.

To narrow down the list, WalletHub compared the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in 19 key metrics that impact the practice of medicine, including the average annual wage of physicians, the number of hospitals per capita and the quality of the public hospital system. Each metric received a score out of 100 for each state; the various metrics were then weighted to determine each state’s overall score and ranking in the list.

Kentucky, South Carolina and Mississippi provide the highest wages, adjusted for cost of living, while Washington, D.C., Hawaii and Massachusetts had the lowest wages.

Source: WalletHub

Each state's ranking is displayed on WalletHub's interactive map.

Competition for jobs is projected to be the highest in Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and North Dakota by 2030, while Nevada, Louisiana and Mississippi are projected to be the least competitive states for physicians.

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. South Dakota
  3. Nebraska
  4. Utah
  5. Indiana
  6. Minnesota
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Idaho
  9. Iowa
  10. Louisiana
  11. Tennessee
  12. North Dakota
  13. Alabama
  14. South Carolina
  15. Oklahoma
  16. Wyoming
  17. Texas
  18. Georgia
  19. North Carolina
  20. Kansas
  21. Colorado
  22. Michigan
  23. Nevada
  24. Kentucky
  25. Arizona
  26. Mississippi
  27. Maine
  28. Missouri
  29. Connecticut
  30. Washington
  31. New Hampshire
  32. Ohio
  33. California
  34. Virginia
  35. Vermont
  36. West Virginia
  37. Florida
  38. Maryland
  39. Pennsylvania
  40. Arkansas
  41. Delaware
  42. Alaska
  43. Illinois
  44. Oregon
  45. Washington, D.C.
  46. New Mexico
  47. New York
  48. Massachusetts
  49. New Jersey
  50. Rhode Island
  51. Hawaii

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  1. Laurie Montano

    I disagree! Alaska is a fantastic place to practice medicine. Salaries are highly competitive and we need more doctors in both primary care and specialties! Why such a low ranking? Many jobs available, and physician owned companies are still possible here.

  2. K Shore, MD

    Considering that most of our reimbursement is from insurance companies, many of which are not based in one state, what is causing this discrepancy?

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