Top 10 states for physicians to practice — 50 things to know

Here are five things to know about each of the top 10 states for physicians to practice, according to Medscape's Best and Worst Places to Practice 2015 report.

1. Tennessee

• Second lowest cost of living in the United States
• Tax burden is 7.6 percent
• Per capita malpractice payouts are in the middle of the pack at $8.96
• Average physician compensation is $279,000 — in the top 10
• Although Nashville is saturated with physicians, nearby locations have good schools and there are many attractions

2. Mississippi

• Average physician compensation is $275,000
• There are low property taxes
• Cost of living is low
• The state recently enacted tort reform
• Oxford is a city to consider with the population increasing 10.5 percent from 2010 to 2013

3. Oklahoma

• The average state and local tax burden is 8.5 percent, below the national average of 9.8 percent
• Around 25 percent of the physicians in Oklahoma are adopting or planning to adopt a concierge practice model
• Average physician compensation is $304,000
• There is a low cost of living
• Tulsa is a recommended city with an active arts community and cultural opportunities

4. Texas

• Texas is a business-friendly state with no state income tax
• There are several teaching institutions and health systems
• Medical malpractice payouts are significantly reduced, last year mounting to only $3.74 per capita
• There is a corporate practice of medicine statute
• Is attractive to families with children

5. Wyoming

• There isn't state income tax
• The average compensation for physicians is $312,000
• Managed care doesn't have a presence in the state, and providers often practice under the fee-for-service model
• There aren't many physicians practicing in the state, and most who are say they're over-extended or at capacity
• Casper is a city to consider with some urban amenities

6. Idaho

• Around 20 percent of physicians plan to retire in the next few years
• Average compensation is $276,000
• There are moderate malpractice payouts
• The tax burden is "average" which allows physicians to maximize earnings
• There are many outdoor activities to enjoy as well as metropolitan areas

7. South Carolina

• The NIH Complementary and Alternative Medical Center at the University of South Carolina is attractive — one of 11 locations in the United States
• Physicians are often able to practice to their full scope of training, with fewer entrenched territorial lines
• There is a small-town feel
• There are museums and cultural events, especially near the universities.
• The city to consider is Columbia as the state capital and home to the University, but also close to Lake Murray

8. New Hampshire

• There is a high concentration of physicians in New England, but not in New Hampshire
• The average physician compensation is $300,000
• The state taxes only dividends and interest, not wages, and other taxes are low
• Around half of physicians in New Hampshire participate in ACOs
• There is a high enrollment in the federal-run insurance marketplace
• The population is healthy, ranking number seven in overall health by the United Health Foundation

9. Nebraska

• There is a favorable ratio of nurses to physicians — 19 percent higher than the national average
• The population is healthy, ranked number 10 by the United Health Foundation
• There is low malpractice — $4.43 per capita last year
• Cost of living is well under the national average
• The city to consider is Omaha with good schools, low crime, family amenities and a high median average income for the state

10. Alaska

• The average physician compensation is $330,000, well above the national average
• There is no income tax
• There are several outdoor activities available
• There are vast practice opportunities for physicians, who treat a wide range of cases
• There is a high cost of living

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