Should your future include a move to the South? A new report finds that Mississippi ranks as the best state to practice medicine, while the District of Columbia and New York are the least doctor-friendly areas in the United States.

The survey, conducted by personal finance website WalletHub, compares all 50 states and D.C. across 11 metrics, including physician starting salary, medical malpractice climate, provider competition, and annual wages – adjusted for cost of living. Data was derived from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Missouri Economic Research & Information Center, among other sources.

Researchers gave each metric a value between 0 and 100 and then calculated an overall score for each state using the weighted average across all metrics. Behind Mississippi, Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota ranked among the best states to practice medicine, according to the report. Rhode Island, Maryland, and Connecticut ranked among the worst, just slightly better than New York and D.C.

“There are an abundance of differences in terms of the working environments faced by doctors across the nation,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in an interview. “The results, while not too surprising, may certainly be eye opening for many new or soon-to-be doctors. Doctors should understand what they’re signing up for in terms of wages, malpractice rates, and job security when they move to another state to practice.”

View the entire WalletHub analysis here .

On Twitter @legal_med


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