WASHINGTON — Some states are more appealing to doctors than others because of the cost of living, the wages, the hospital networks and opportunity. However, a recent report showed local states and the District of Columbia may not fare well when it comes to wooing white coats.
Maryland ranked near the bottom of the list — No. 46 — on WalletHub’s list of the best states for doctors. D.C. ranked No. 40 and Virginia came in near the middle of the pack at No. 19.
Dr. Emily Dow, chief medical officer of the Family Health Centers and professor at University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, says it’s important for states to be attractive to doctors so they can bring in talented physicians and achieve quality care for patients. Still, every state should be afforded quality care, she says.
“Having an adequate supply of primary care physicians should not just be a local issue, but a national policy so that everyone has access to primary care no matter where you live,” Dow says in a news release.
“We should promote primary care as the bedrock of health and wellness, and work toward expanding our primary care work force.”
The best state for doctors is South Carolina, according to the data which WalletHub released Monday. Helping its rank is its top spot when it comes to the least punitive state medical boards.
The determine the rankings, WalletHub ranked each state based on two distinct categories: opportunity and competition as well as work environment. The first category analyzes each state’s job market for doctors. The second considers the risks of the job, factoring in state medical board penalties, malpractice payouts and the cost of malpractice insurance.
Maryland ranked low in both categories. The Old Line State ranked No. 47 when it comes to opportunity and competition and No. 41 for work environment.
D.C. ranked 45th for opportunity and competition and 28th for work environment. Virginia came in 28th for opportunity and competition and 17th for work environment.
Also, Maryland ranked 5th highest on the list of the projected number of doctors by 2022. D.C. ranked as the most competitive market with the most physicians per capita projected by 2022.
D.C. has 10 times as many physicians per capita as Arizona. WalletHub did not release the number of physicians per capita for each state.
While there may be many doctors, D.C. ranked as one of the states with the most expensive malpractice insurance.
See a map with each state’s rankings: