The Top 5 States for Physicians to Practice Medicine

The best states in the US for practicing medicine can be determined by taking a holistic view of the state of health care in that particular area and comparing it with other places. Some states are surprisingly physician-friendly while some may not be very suitable for physicians in certain specialties. The ranking can be based on factors such as the availability of physicians, disciplinary actions against physicians, the premiums paid for medical liability coverage, cost of living index, and state income taxes among many other factors linked to the cost of administration.


Texas is one of the better states for general surgeons and internal medicine because of the low liability insurance premiums for these specialties. A low cost of living index and low state income tax rates make it one of the top states for physicians to practice medicine. The high percentage of uninsured in this largest state would create a need for health care providers in the future which could be much larger compared to any other state in the country. Moreover, there is no shortage of medical billers and coders in Texas and this makes administrative processes frugal and efficient at the same time.


California is the best state as far as physicians’ salary is concerned and is also favorable in terms of Geographic Practice Cost Indices or GPCI. Another feature that is in favor of physicians in this golden state is the comparative lack of competition in the state in many areas coupled with low medical liability premiums.


Alabama is one of the states where competition is thin for physicians and almost 20% of the people in the age group 19-64 are without health insurance. In face of health reforms, these would be entitled to insurance and the number of patient-doctor encounters would also increase. The cost of living index is lower in Alabama compared to many other states in the US. Furthermore, fewer disciplinary actions by the medical board in Alabama in comparison to other states make it a place that is lucrative and suitable for physicians.

South Dakota

South Dakota is also one of the states which are ideal for physicians and health care providers due to zero state income taxes and zero liability insurance premiums. Moreover, South Dakota also has a low cost of living index and a comparative scarcity of physicians, making it financially beneficial to provide health care services here. South Dakota is one of the states with a very high density of medical billers and coders making it apt for physicians and health care providers from the point of view of administrative and medical billing and coding support.


Tennessee is one of the states that are physician-friendly mostly because of zero state income taxes, a higher pay scale compared to numerous other states, a low number of disciplinary actions, and a low cost of living index.  Moreover, the easy availability of medical billers and coders in Tennessee makes it ideal for cutting costs as far as the administrative processes related to practicing medicine are concerned.

Although many other states also have positives for physicians but these five states are among the best because all or most of the factors such as cost of living, remuneration, liability insurance premiums, number of disciplinary actions against physicians, state income taxes, GPCI, and number of health providers in the state are in favor of health care providers.