- The Washington Times - Monday, March 28, 2016

The nation’s capital is the worst place for doctors to practice, according to a survey released Tuesday that looked at wages, the cost of malpractice and other factors that face a set of professionals who are highly paid and respected, yet reeling from student debt and an ever-shifting landscape.

WalletHub says D.C. comes in last when ranked against the 50 states. The Northeast fared pretty poorly overall, with New England states, New York and New Jersey huddled at the bottom of the list.

Doctors in the South and Midwest are doing just fine, though. Mississippi ranked first, buoyed by metrics that looked at the cost of living versus wages and the number of physicians per capita — a reflection of the competition.

Behind Mississippi, a doctor’s dollar stretched the farthest in Indiana, Georgia, Iowa and Alabama, according to WalletHub. That’s a relief for physicians facing student debt and the high cost of liability insurance.

“Not only does the average medical-school graduate leave campus with roughly $180,000 in debt, but the medical profession has also been undergoing intense transformation in recent years,” WalletHub said. “The Affordable Care Act, the rise of branded hospital networks and the retirement of Baby Boomers are all complicating the lives of doctors and warranting pause from potential whitecoats.”

Among other highlights, WalletHub said doctors in the Northeast took a beating when it came to courtroom payouts for malpractice, while North Dakota juries were the stingiest.

D.C., meanwhile, fared all right in one category. Its state medical board is the second-least punitive, following only South Carolina.


• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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