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Best states for doctors to practice in


Taxes, the cost of living, and state business taxes were all among the factors in a survey conducted by Physicians Practice to determine the best states in the country for physicians to practice. The rankings were based on a total of six criteria that was available from public sources as well as Physicians Practice partners. The top 10 best states for doctors, as reflected in that criteria, are listed here.

The rankings are based on the following criteria:

  • Cost of living
  • Physician density
  • Amount of state business taxes collected
  • Average malpractice insurance rates
  • Quality of life
  • Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI)

The results in each category of criteria were sourced from reliable sources:

  • The cost of living ranking was based on the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, which itself based its ratings on averaging the indices of cities and metropolitan areas in each state.
  • The physician density rankings are based on the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2021 State Physician Workforce Data Report.
  • The state tax ranking was based on the Tax Foundation’s Facts & Figures How Does Your State Compare? 2022.
  • The raw data used to calculate the average malpractice insurance cost was provided by the Cunningham Group. The data was then averaged out by Physicians Practice.
  • For the quality of life metric, Physicians Practice used Wallethub’s Best States to Retire rankings which were based on adjusted cost of living, lowest annual cost of in-home services, their own taxpayer ranking, the percentage of the workforce aged 65 and older, museums per capita, theaters per capita, percentage of population aged 65 and older, life expectancy, and property crime rate.
  • CMS uses the Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI) to adjust Medicare physician payments to account for geographic differences in physicians’ costs. Each GPCI corresponds to one of the three main components of a Medicare physician payment: physician work, practice expense, and malpractice expense. For the purposes of these rankings, Physicians Practices averaged the three GPCI’s together for each state, and major municipalities contained in each state. The lower the GPCI, the higher the ranking.

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The top 10 states for doctors, determined as a result of this research, are:

#1 Idaho

Rankings: Cost of living: 28 Physician density: 1 Amount of state business taxes collected: 17 Average malpractice insurance rates: 6 Quality of life: 11 GPCI: 3

#2 South Dakota

Rankings: Cost of living: 23 Physician density: 18 Amount of state business taxes collected: 2 Average malpractice insurance rates: 3 Quality of life: 14 GPCI: 6

#3 Kansas

Rankings: Cost of living: 3 Physician density: 12 Amount of state business taxes collected: 24 Average malpractice insurance rates: 4 Quality of life: 24 GPCI: 8

#4 North Dakota

Rankings: Cost of living: 25 Physician density: 16 Amount of state business taxes collected: 19 Average malpractice insurance rates: 7 Quality of life: 6 GPCI: 11

#5 Iowa

Rankings: Cost of living: 5 Physician density: 7 Amount of state business taxes collected: 38 Average malpractice insurance rates: 10 Quality of life: 20 GPCI: 5

#6 Indiana

Rankings: Cost of living: 7 Physician density: 14 Amount of state business taxes collected: 9 Average malpractice insurance rates: 17 Quality of life: 33 GPCI: 7

#7 Wyoming

Rankings: Cost of living: 21 Physician density: 4 Amount of state business taxes collected: 1 Average malpractice insurance rates: 24 Quality of life: 13 GPCI: 28

#8 Wisconsin

Rankings: Cost of living: 24 Physician density: 28 Amount of state business taxes collected: 27 Average malpractice insurance rates: 1 Quality of life: 15 GPCI: 2

#9 Tennessee

Rankings: Cost of living: 8 Physician density: 22 Amount of state business taxes collected: 8 Average malpractice insurance rates: 11 Quality of life: 39 GPCI: 10

#10 Utah

Rankings: Cost of living: 33 Physician density: 9 Amount of state business taxes collected: 10 Average malpractice insurance rates: 18 Quality of life: 8 GPCI: 20