Short Takes On News & Events

Idaho, Texas: Best Places For Physicians To Practice

By Ankita Rao

October 15th, 2012, 4:07 PM

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the … clinics of Tennessee? The best places to practice medicine may surprise you.

According to a report prepared annually by Physicians Practice, an online media and resource tool for doctors, Idaho, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas rank highest on the this year’s list, based on metrics like malpractice frequency, reimbursement and overhead costs. The idea is that the more stress-factors — like disciplinary actions and tax burdens — that exist per capita, the less desirable the locale would be.

The ranks do not, however, take into account lifestyle factors like cultural attractions and recreation, so doctors may need to do some research before moving their families to a place with no movie theater.

That could be why the worst places to practice include vacation destinations like New York, Washington, D.C. and Hawaii. In these states, the report says taxes and malpractice might be high enough to overshadow the benefits of living near conference destinations and Broadway.

“The financial issues involved in being in practice in New York are very, very complex, and it requires a lot of effort just to keep your head above water,” said now Mississippi-based physician Steven Shapiro, in the report.

Shapiro moved his practice from the Empire State to the Magnolia State 17 years ago, and has been there ever since.

5 Responses to “Idaho, Texas: Best Places For Physicians To Practice”

  1. SteveH says:

    Texas, Mississippi and Idaho are all in the top 10 for highest percentage of the population who are uninsured. Tennessee is 22nd, so they’re all in the top 1/2 of states. What does that mean for the study’s results?

  2. Bigortho says:

    It has become impossible for an honest solo physician (especially a high risk specialist) to make a living in New York. That’s why I recently closed my practice.

  3. Sophie Maele says:

    To STEVEH: It means that some people in those states don’t want health insurance. Since they foolishly believe this to be a free country, they believe they are within their rights.

  4. Linda Rasmussen says:

    Hawaii is in crisis and our democratic controlled legislature fails to pass legislation that would help the medical liability crisis. Medicare reimbursement does not compensate us for our high cost of living. The private insurers have a monopoly and pay us whatever that want. Nearly everyone may have insurance in Hawaii, but they don’t have doctors to care for them. A recent study at University of Hawaii puts our shortage at 655 physicians, most of which are primary care.

  5. Gregory Sirounian says:

    I left Arizona after ten years in private specialty practice and found that the low reimbursements and lower standard of living made caring for complex patients very difficult. Reimbursement often did not cover the cost of providing good care to a large segment of the population, which is why Arizona, like many other states, will continue to see its physician shortage grow. I have since moved to a hospital-employed position in New York, which, while it has disadvantages, is a MUCH easier setting in which to provide a high standard of care without disrupting my family life anymore.