Mississippi leads the list of best states for physicians to practice, according to the latest survey on the topic from Physicians Practice.
"It is really a nice place to raise a family, because it's not so densely populated," Mississippi native Robert Harris, M.D., told Physicians Practice. Although Harris acknowledged missing the excitement of practicing in Durham, N.C., where he trained, he spoke highly of the benefits of returning home. "You do tend to be [more] involved … [and] it seems easier to keep up with your children, because everyone is sort of a neighbor, they are all looking out for each other."
In addition to such anecdotes, the survey data ranked the Magnolia state first for low physician density and low tax burden and fourth for lowest medical malpractice payouts per capita, according to an announcement. Mississippi also ranked well in three other categories, including low cost of living, low disciplinary actions against physician and Medicare geographic practice cost index.
The four runners-up for best states to practice were Nevada, Alabama, Texas, and Tennessee. Alabama, Texas and Nevada were also in the top five last year, as FiercePracticeManagment reported.
Nevada stands out because it offers physicians greater opportunities for independence, says David Hald, president of the Nevada State Medical Association and a practicing urologist. "There is such a change right now occurring in healthcare that physician independence and autonomy in a lot of neighboring states is going by the wayside," he said. "But Nevada still offers great opportunity."
Researchers didn't just ask physicians what they liked about practicing in their states, but also what they would change. For example, Deborah August, M.D., told Physicians Practice that she would like to see the cost of malpractice insurance come down in her state of Massachusetts and to see more legislation supporting physicians.