The Best and Worst Cities for Doctors

Medscape ranks locations for their burnout potential

What’s the best city in the United States to practice medicine? According to Medscape’s Best Places to Practice 2017 report, it’s Minneapolis. And the worst? New Orleans, which also has the nation’s least-healthy population.

For its new ranking, Medscape focused on locations that could help physicians avoid burnout and create a calmer, happier life. The web source also considered other factors, such as fewer lawsuits; the least-punitive medical boards; teamwork with physician assistants and nurse practitioners; cultural attractions; and work-friendly settings.

Medscape’s top five cities for practicing medicine include:

1. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minnesota is the second happiest, the fourth most family-friendly, and the fifth most-livable state, and its residents are the fourth healthiest population in the U.S., according to Medscape’s ranking. The state also has the second highest rate of employer-sponsored health insurance and the 17th lowest number of malpractice lawsuits.

2. Madison, Wisconsin

Wisconsin has the 14th lowest number of malpractice lawsuits, the sixth highest physician income, and the second highest rate of employed physicians.

3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Factors that could lower physician stress include the fourth least-harsh medical board and the fourth lowest number of malpractice lawsuits. Physicians in South Dakota also have the third highest income and the third highest rate of employed status.

4. Des Moines, Iowa

Doctors in Iowa enjoy the eighth highest physician income, but there is a relatively high number of malpractice lawsuits and a fairly harsh medical board. Iowa has the sixth highest rate of insurance coverage, so it may be easier to receive payment for services, according to Medscape.

5. Burlington, Vermont

Vermont has been rated the second healthiest state, and it has the second highest rate of health insurance coverage. It also has the highest hospital patient satisfaction in the nation and the second highest proportion of primary care physicians.

Medscape’s “bottom five” cities include:

1. New Orleans, Louisiana

Louisiana has the highest number of malpractice lawsuits per capita. It is the least healthy population in the nation, and it has the eighth lowest rate of employer-sponsored health insurance. Louisiana physicians have the ninth lowest average income.

2. Phoenix, Arizona

Patients in Arizona have the fourth lowest rate of health insurance coverage, the fourth lowest rate of employer-sponsored health insurance, and the fourth lowest rate of hospital patient satisfaction.

3. Las Vegas, Nevada

Nevada has the third highest rate of uninsured patients and the 13th unhealthiest population in the country. On the other hand, it has the 18th lowest rate of malpractice lawsuits, and its medical board has the fifth fewest board actions in the U.S.

4. Albuquerque, New Mexico

New Mexico has been ranked as the third least-safe state, with the third highest violent crime rate. It also has the eighth lowest rate of insurance coverage, the lowest rate of employer-sponsored insurance, the 14th unhealthiest population in the country, and the fourth lowest hospital patient satisfaction rate.

5. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Oklahoma has the second highest rate of malpractice lawsuits and the fifth harshest medical board. It also has the sixth most-unhealthy population, the seventh lowest rate of insurance coverage, and the tenth lowest rate of employer-sponsored health insurance.

Source: Medscape; May 10, 2017.