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March 20, 2023

Where to Practice: The Top High-Paying States for Doctors

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Dr. Shefiu Lanre Shittu

President of Daily Care Solutions

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Picking a place to live is always a struggle. However, this is especially true when it comes to doctors. Each state pays doctors differently, and these differences are something that needs to be considered.

The following list takes these considerations into mind. Using Medscape’s “Physician Compensation Report,” this list breaks down the highest-paying states for doctors across the country. Let’s take a look.

Related: Locum Tenens Salary: Everything You Need to Know

10. Florida

There really is no place quite like Florida. The sunshine, warm weather, and beautiful beaches make it a top destination for many people. These factors have proven to be such a draw that over 252,000 people moved to Florida between 2019 and 2020.

Florida isn’t just a good place to live; it is also a great place to be a doctor. The Florida medical industry is diverse and has plenty of opportunities within it. It is also one of the top ten highest-paying states for doctors.

9. Connecticut

Connecticut is tied with Florida when it comes to doctor salaries. However, Connecticut offers things that Florida cannot. One of these is the education system. If you have a family to think of, keep in mind that schools in Connecticut generally rank higher than their Florida counterparts. The crime rate is also incredibly low, so low that Connecticut is generally considered one of the safest states to live in. Meanwhile, Florida’s crime rate is above the national average.

Connecticut is also wonderfully positioned within the Northeastern United States. You’re only a short drive away from New York City or Boston from many places in Connecticut. Or, you can drive up the coast for an oceanfront trip to Vacationland, otherwise known as Maine. This makes it great for working for a locum tenens service.


8. Texas

Texas is a warm, southern state that makes a great destination for anyone. It is a wide state that offers a diverse range of sights, destinations, and foods.

Texas is actually tied with Florida and Connecticut when it comes to the average salary for doctors. However, Texas edges ahead of the competition in a few other places. Specifically, the cost of living is generally cheaper in Texas, as the cost of buying or renting a home is less. In Texas, you will likely be able to put a little more in savings than in Florida or Connecticut.

7. North Carolina

North Carolina is a wonderful mix of different destinations. The coast is known for beautiful beaches perfect for fun and relaxation. The interior contains a portion of the Great Smoky Mountains, where wilderness really comes alive. Plus, there is plenty to be found within the bustling cities of Charlotte and Raleigh.

North Carolina also comes in as the seventh highest-paying state for doctors. Spending time here lets you use this extra money to explore this great state.

Want to increase your salary by becoming a locum tenens provider? Find out more about our career options to get started!

6. Indiana

Indiana is one of the best places to go if you want to make money as a doctor. The state ranks number six in terms of doctor salaries. It is also in the top ten in states with the lowest cost of living. This has even more impact if you’re a locum tenens doctor, as this job typically pays more.

5. Oregon

Oregon is a great place for any doctor to consider. It starts out in the top five highest-paying states for doctors. This makes it unique among states in the Western United States, as most of the top-paying states for doctors are in the East or South.

The state of Oregon is of particular interest to nature lovers. Oregon has 362 miles of shoreline that are protected from development by law. Its forests are also a spectacular example of the rich beauty you can find in the Pacific Northwest.

4. Missouri

Coming in fourth place for doctors’ wages, Missouri is an amazing place to consider practicing. Whether you’re interested in the Gateway Arch in the heart of St. Louis or the beauty of the wilderness in Mark Twain National Forest, there is something for everyone here.

Missouri is also an amazing food destination. Both Kansas City and St. Louis have their own unique barbeque styles. You can be sure you won’t run out of good eats while in this state.

Related: What Exactly Is A Locum Hospitalist, And How Do You Become One?

3. Alabama

Alabama ranks third in wages for doctors. It is also a state that is on the rise in general. New industries are developing across Alabama, and many businesses are starting up or expanding their operations within the state. Plus, Alabama is in the top five states with the lowest cost of living, which gives it another monetary advantage.

2. Kentucky

Kentucky is tied for the highest wages for doctors in the country. This is reason enough to consider this state as a place to practice. However, there are plenty of other reasons Kentucky is a great place to practice.

Kentucky combines a wonderful location with a unique culture. The state is known for wildlife, horses, and bourbon. So, if you want to experience these unique bits of culture, Kentucky has you covered.

Thinking about moving to meet your career and financial goals? Get in touch with us and see how we can help!

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1. Tennessee

Many of the advantages of being a doctor in Kentucky apply to being a doctor in Tennessee. The two states are tied for the highest doctors’ wages in the country. Both states also have a low cost of living.

However, Tennessee manages to set itself apart through taxes. Tennessee doesn’t have an income tax. So, if you’re looking for a way to preserve as much of your salary as a doctor as possible, Tennessee is the place to be.

Plus, with Alabama directly to the south and Kentucky directly to the north, Tennessee is right between two of the other best places to be a doctor. This makes it the ideal place for people with locum tenen careers who want to keep the best jobs nearby.

High-Paying States for Doctors

If you’re looking for the highest-paying states for doctors, you can’t go wrong with the options on this list. All of them pay well, and each comes with its own unique mix of advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, any of this would make for a great place to be a doctor.

Related: Per Diem vs. Locum Tenens: Which One is For You

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Dr. Shefiu Lanre Shittu

President of Daily Care Solutions

Internal Medicine physician with over 10 years of experience in medical staffing solution. Completed medical education and residency in Columbia University. Provided expert oversight to private groups and hospitals. Contracted services organization and Take charge of establishing three hospitalist programs from inception to completion. Develop the scope of practice and negotiate contracts with other departments and specialties. Perform a wide range of tasks including contract negotiations, revenue cycle and human resource management, process improvement, and introduction of interdisciplinary rounding. Drove key efforts toward the reduction of cost of running programs by approximately 15-20%. Identified staffing needs while creating unique staffing plans for programs.

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