15 best, worst states for physicians in 2024

Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska are the top three states for physicians to practice in the U.S., according to WalletHub's 2024 ranking published March 18. Hawaii, Rhode Island and New Jersey were deemed the worst.

The annual ranking is based on two key dimensions: opportunity and competition, and medical environment. Within those dimensions, WalletHub evaluated 19 metrics, including average annual wage, number of hospitals per capita, quality of the public health system and hospital safety grades. Each of the 19 metrics were graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the most favorable conditions for physicians. WalletHub used the average across all metrics used to calculate an overall score.

Fifteen best states for physicians:

1. Montana
2. South Dakota
3. Nebraska
4. Utah
5. Indiana
6. Minnesota
7. Wisconsin
8. Idaho
9. Iowa
10. Louisiana
11. Tennessee
12. North Dakota
13. Alabama
14. South Carolina
15. Oklahoma

& the worst:

1. Hawaii
2. Rhode Island
3. New Jersey
4. Massachusetts
5. New York
6. New Mexico
7. District of Columbia
8. Oregon
9. Illinois
10. Alaska
11. Delaware
12. Arkansas
13. Pennsylvania
14. Maryland
15. Florida
16. West Virginia

Three more notes from the ranking:

  • Montana, which ranked No. 1 overall, placed first for opportunity and competition and third for medical environment.
  • Nebraska (No. 3 overall) ranked first for medical environment and 22nd for opportunity and rank.
  • Hawaii placed 49th for opportunity and rank and 47th for medical environment.

View the full ranking and scoring here.

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