Healthcare Economy

States with the Fewest (and Most) Doctors

The Ten States With The Most Doctors:

10. New Jersey
> Doctors per 100,000 people: 251.4
> Medical students per 100,000 people: 22.4 (18th lowest)
> Pct. without health insurance: 13.2% (22nd lowest)
> Life expectancy: 79.7 years (tied-13th highest)

Doctors often come to New Jersey after finishing medical school. Although the state is one of the leading employers of physicians, at 251.4 per 100,000 people, it has just 22.4 medical students per 100,000 residents — considerably lower than the national rate of 31.4 students per 100,000. However, the state is a leader in hiring doctors educated outside the U.S., who account for 39.1% of all physicians in New Jersey — the highest percentage nationwide. Doctors may be attracted to the state because of its wealth; median household income in New Jersey was $67,681 in 2010, the second-highest in the nation behind Maryland.

9. New Hampshire
> Doctors per 100,000 people: 257.4
> Medical students per 100,000 people: 28.3 (22nd highest)
> Pct. without health insurance: 11.1% (12th lowest)
> Life expectancy: 79.7 years (tied-13th highest)

Unlike many of the other states with high doctor-to-population ratios, New Hampshire isn’t flooded with medical schools — the only medical school in the state is the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. Just over 28% of students who completed their medical  education in New Hampshire practiced in the state, the lowest percentage of all states. New Hampshire’s population is generally well-insured, as just 11.1% of the state’s population has no health insurance, far less than the 15.5% of the population nationwide. Most resident’s  have the means to buy health insurance — a nationwide low of 8.3% of the population is below the poverty line.

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8. Hawaii
> Doctors per 100,000 people: 265.5
> Medical students per 100,000 people: 19.7 (11th lowest)
> Pct. without health insurance: 7.9% (2nd lowest)
> Life expectancy: 81.5 years (the highest)

Despite its physical distance from the continental U.S., Hawaii does not hire very many foreign-educated medical doctors. Such doctors account for just 13.9% of all doctors, or the 15th lowest percentage in the nation. Because the state has less than 20 medical students per 100,000 residents, most doctors come to Hawaii only after they have completed medical school. Those who work in Hawaii treat a healthy population with the nation’s highest life expectancy, at 81.5 year and the nation’s lowest adult obesity rate, at 57.2%. Only 7.9% of Hawaiians were uninsured in 2010, the second-best percentage in the nation behind Massachusetts.

7. Rhode Island
> Doctors per 100,000 people: 269.0
> Medical students per 100,000 people: 40.3 (11th highest)
> Pct. without health insurance: 12.2% (16th lowest)
> Life expectancy: 79.3 years (19th highest)

Rhode Island has 332.6 total active physicians, including patient care and other doctors, for every 100,000 people, which is the fourth-highest rate in the country. The state’s only medical school is Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. The university is located in Providence, which has a fair share of medical resources. Although Providence doesn’t have the abundance of medical facilities for residencies and research of nearby Boston, the university partners with seven hospitals within a 15-minute drive of the campus to give students easy access to clinical opportunities.

6. Vermont
> Doctors per 100,000 people: 270.7
> Medical students per 100,000 people: 77.1 (2nd highest)
> Pct. without health insurance: 8.0% (3rd lowest)
> Life expectancy: 79.7 years (tied-13th highest)

Vermont is a leading employer of doctors, male and female. According to the AAMC, women accounted for 34.1% of all physicians, the fourth-highest figure in the U.S. Aside from hiring, Vermont also educated a large number of doctors. There were 77.1 medical students per 100,000 residents in the state, more than all but one other state in the country. However, only 30.5% of physicians educated in Vermont practice there, the third-lowest rate among all 50 states. Vermont may appeal to doctors looking for security; the state’s population is well-insured, as just 8% did not have health coverage in 2010, the third-lowest percentage in the country.

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