WalletHub lists R.I. as worst state for doctors

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island ranked as the worst state in the nation for doctors to practice medicine, according to a WalletHub report released Monday.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared the 50 states and Washington, D.C., across two key dimensions: opportunity and competition, and medical environment. 

Rhode Island ranked No. 41 for opportunity and competition. This ranking included key metrics such as physicians’ average annual wage and average starting salary, hospitals per capita, the insured population rate, competition and the number of medical residents being added to the physician workforce of each state.

Rhode Island opportunity and competition individual metric key findings: 

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  • Physicians’ average annual wage (adjusted for cost of living): No. 43 
  • Physicians’ average starting monthly salary: No. 45 ($3,826) 
  • Most hospitals per capita: No. 46 (3.03) 
  • Insured population rate: No. 5 (95.5%) 
  • Employer-based insurance rate: No. 18 (48.73%) 
  • Projected share of elderly population: No. 18 (21.38%) 
  • Current competition: No. 48 
  • Share of medical residents retained: No. 47 (30.90) 

Rhode Island ranked No. 47 for medical environment. This ranking included key metrics such as quality of public hospital system, hospital safety, presence of nationally accredited health departments, physician assistants per capita and punitiveness of the state medical board.

Rhode Island medical environment metric key findings: 

  • The report noted that Rhode Island ranked No. 49 for malpractice award payout amount per capita at $15.54. 
  • Rhode Island ranked No. 29 in the nation for annual malpractice liability insurance rate at $17,635. 
  • The state had 0.21 physician assistants per capita, which ranked No. 47 in the nation. 

South Dakota was ranked first overall in the nation, followed by Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana and Idaho. In addition to Rhode Island, New Jersey at No. 47, Delaware at No. 48, Washington, D.C., at No. 49 and New York at No. 50 made up the bottom five. 

Massachusetts didn’t fare much better than Rhode Island. The Bay State ranked No. 43 overall, No. 50 for opportunity and competition and No. 10 for medical environment. 

Of the rest of the New England states, Maine earned the highest overall ranking at No. 14, followed by New Hampshire at No. 37, Connecticut at No. 41 and Vermont at No. 44. 

The full report can be viewed here.