The 25 best and 5 worst cities for physicians

What makes a city appealing for medical practice?

It can vary greatly based on life stage, personal interests, career goals or even the level of education of a physician's spouse. However, most physicians are looking for some combination of positive features, from high rates of compensation to good schools for their kids to top cultural offerings.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Tax Foundation, Diederich Healthcare — a malpractice insurer — and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, in addition to its proprietary reports, Medscape compiled a list of the best and worst places for physicians to practice in 2016.

The best cities boast top schools, high compensation, low tax rates, low malpractice payouts, strong economies, low density of physicians, cultural amenities and beautiful landscapes. The worst cities have high costs of living, high rates of unemployment, low compensation or unhealthy populations. While no best or worst city has all positive or negative features, the top locations offer a greater overall environment for physician practice. Here are the best 25 cities and worst five cities in the U.S. for physician practice, as rated by Medscape.

Best cities

1. Apex, N.C.
2. Austin, Texas
3. Birmingham, Ala.
4. Boise, Idaho
5. Columbus, Ohio
6. Denver
7. Des Moines, Iowa
8. Fremont, Calif.
9. Grand Rapids, Mich.
10. Indianapolis
11. Johns Creek, Ga.
12. Lexington, Ky.
13. Madison, Wis.
14. Manchester-Nashua, N.H.
15. Minneapolis
16. Murfreesboro, Tenn.
17. Omaha, Neb.
18. Orlando, Fla.
19. Overland Park, Kan.
20. Pittsburgh
21. Portland, Ore.
22. Salt Lake City
23. San Jose, Calif.
24. Scottsdale, Ariz.
25. Tyler, Texas

Worst cities

1. Albuquerque, N.M.
2. Charleston, W.Va.
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Jackson, Miss.
5. Providence, R.I.


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