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Why the “Worst” Location Might be Better for Your Practice

Jackson Physician Search
July 5, 2017

The old real estate adage “Location, Location, Location” also applies to your choice of location for practicing medicine. But, when deciding your practice location, the places that come to mind first may not end up being the best for your career. There are many factors that contribute to finding the right location for your medical practice, and being near a bustling urban center isn’t necessarily one of them.  Let’s examine why the “worst” location may be the best one for your practice.

Locations that are More Lucrative for Physicians

Are you tired of being embroiled in the daily struggle of dealing with traffic, noise, crowds, the high cost of living, taxes, etc.?  While there are many good reasons why being a physician in large urban areas is beneficial, there are just as many for choosing a less populous area. For example, when you think of a great state to be a physician, would Iowa come to mind first?  Probably not, but a recent study from found that the Hawkeye State is the best state to be a physician.  Two contributing factors: Iowa ranks in the top five for ‘Highest Annual Salary’ (adjusted for Cost of Living) and ‘Least Expensive Malpractice Insurance.’  The ability to keep more of the money you earn is always a good consideration when determining where to earn that living.

Locations that Provide a Better Work/Life Balance for Physicians

Other “under the radar” states that earned top ten rankings in the study were Idaho, Kansas, South Dakota, Montana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  None of these states will ever be mistaken for large metropolitan powerhouses, but they have much to offer a physician who prioritizes their work/life balance.

As a physician, no one has to tell you about the stress that accompanies your career choice.  Balancing that stress by choosing to practice in an off-beat location can be your golden ticket to a better quality of life. Imagine spending your day off going for a hike in the woods rather than the concrete jungle.  Or think of relaxing in your backyard instead of on your balcony and without the blare of sirens and honking horns every three minutes.

Other considerations that favored states with more rural areas were decreased competition because of having fewer physicians per 1,000 residents.  Although fewer large hospital systems and less access to specialty services can be viewed as a disadvantage when it comes to practicing in a community, it can provide a great opportunity for many practicing physicians. Furthermore, rural communities are known to greatly appreciate their “hometown docs” and are very resourceful in providing a high quality of life for physicians and their families.

Locations Offering More Family and Lifestyle Options

Deciding where to practice is often a family affair. Physicians with spouses having professional careers of their own must take that into consideration before heading somewhere without similar career opportunities. However, the cost of living upside and proliferation of remote work options make smaller communities a viable option for many couples. Whether you are a younger physician choosing a location to practice based on quality-of-life considerations or a mid-to-late career physician emphasizing cultural amenities and financial opportunities, there are many hidden gems to discover in unlikely places.

The moral of this story is that the most obvious place may not end up being the perfect place for you, your family or your practice. When making that all important decision, dig a little deeper and consider places that may not be the most apparent choice.

When exploring options for establishing your medical practice, a knowledgeable recruiter can help you identify opportunities you may not otherwise know about – and the many reasons why that practice setting could be a well suited for you.

Explore our latest practice opportunities to find a location that matches your career – and life – goals.

Or, contact a recruiter to personally discuss your priorities, interests and needs.

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