The 15 best, worst states for physicians in 2022

The top three states for physicians to practice medicine this year are in the Midwest and the worst are on the East Coast, according to one new ranking.

The rankings for 2022 come from Wallethub, which looked at two key dimensions: opportunity and competition (70 points) and medical environment (30 points). 

Eleven metrics make up the opportunity and competition score, including physicians' annual wages and starting salary, hospitals per capita and insured rate. Medical environment is defined by eight factors, including physician assistants per capita, quality of the public health system and hospitals' safety grades as defined by Leapfrog. 

Some insights into the rankings and scores: 

  • South Dakota ranks No. 1 overall, coming in seventh place for opportunity and competition and 22nd place for medical environment, respectively.
  • Nebraska came in top place for its medical environment, but its ranking as 34th for opportunity and competition dragged its overall ranking down to No. 7. 
  • Indiana came in top place for opportunity and competition, but its ranking as 17th for medical environment dragged its overall ranking down to No. 19. 
  • Delaware is ranked last for its medical environment, and Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts are ranked in the last spots for physicians' opportunity and competition.
  • Below are the top 15 states and bottom 15 states, including Washington, D.C. The complete ranking and scoring can be found here


The best 

1. South Dakota

2. Minnesota 

3. Wisconsin 

4. Montana 

5. Idaho

6. Iowa 

7. Nebraska 

8. Kansas 

9. North Dakota

10. Mississippi 

11. Arizona 

12. Alabama

13. Tennessee 

14. Maine

15. Utah


The worst 

35. Arkansas

36. California 

37. New Hampshire 

38. New Mexico 

39. Illinois

40. Maryland 

41. Connecticut

42. Oregon 

43. Massachusetts

44. Vermont

45. Hawaii

46. Alaska

47. New Jersey 

48. Delaware

49. Washington, D.C.

50. New York 

51. Rhode Island


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