Minnesota named best place to practice in 2021


For physicians who are just starting out or thinking about moving, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” could be the land of opportunity, according to a recent Medscape analysis.

Best and worst states to practice medicine in 2021

In a ranking of the 50 states, Minnesota “claimed top marks for livability, low incidence of adverse actions against doctors, and the performance of its health system,” Shelly Reese wrote in Medscape’s “Best & Worst Places to Practice 2021.”

Minnesota is below average where it’s good to be below average – share of physicians reporting burnout and/or depression – but above average in the share of physicians who say they’re “very happy” outside of work, Medscape said in the annual report.

Second on this year’s list is Wisconsin, which benefits from low levels of malpractice payouts and adverse actions and a high level of livability. Third place went to Washington (called the most livable state in the country by U.S. News and World Report), fourth to Colorado (physicians happy at and outside of work, high retention rate for residents), and fifth to Utah (low crime rate, high quality of life), Medscape said.

At the bottom of the list for 2021 is West Virginia, where physicians “may confront a bevy of challenges” in the form of low livability, a high rate of adverse actions, and relatively high malpractice payouts, Ms. Reese noted in the report.

State number 49 is Louisiana, where livability is low, malpractice payouts are high, and more than half of physicians say that they’re burned out and/or depressed. New Mexico is 48th (very high rate of adverse actions, poor resident retention), Nevada is 47th (low marks for avoidable hospital use and disparity in care), and Rhode Island is 46th (high malpractice payouts, low physician compensation), Medscape said.

Continuing with the group-of-five theme, America’s three most populous states finished in the top half of the ranking – California 16th, Texas 11th, and Florida 21st – but New York and Pennsylvania, numbers four and five by population size, did not.

The rankings are based on states’ performance in 10 different measures, three of which were sourced from Medscape surveys – happiness at work, happiness outside of work, and burnout/depression – and seven from other organizations: adverse actions against physicians, malpractice payouts, compensation (adjusted for cost of living), overall health, health system performance, overall livability, resident retention.

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