(The Center Square) – Minnesota is the second-best state in the nation for doctors to practice medicine, according to a report WalletHub published Monday.
The report ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 19 metrics, including average annual wages and quality of public hospital system.
With a total overall score of 67.82, Minnesota ranked solely behind South Dakota, which achieved a score of 69.37. Rhode Island, with a 39.84 score, was ranked last.
Minnesota ranked second in the Opportunity and Competition dimension, falling behind Indiana. Minnesota has the fifth-lowest projected competition (1.23 per 1,000 residents) by 2028. Physicians’ average monthly starting salary ($5,192) is the fourth highest in the country. The state also has the seventh-highest average annual wage among all physicians. It has the fifth highest insured population rate (95.50%) and the third highest employer-based insurance rate (54%). However, Minnesota requires physicians to complete more continuing medical education credits than most other states (75, 37th lowest number) and the state is projected to have the 35th highest share of elderly population by 2030.
The North Star State placed sixth in the Medical Environment dimension. It has the sixth-highest quality of public hospital system (79.68%), based on data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It has the third least expensive annual malpractice liability insurance ($6,746) and the fifth-least punitive state medical board (2.44 serious disciplinary actions by the board per 1,000 physicians). However, it had the 29th highest percentage of hospitals with “A” grades for safety (26.10%) in the Fall 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade State Rankings.
Its malpractice award payout amount per capita is $4.33, ranking it 10th nationally.
Minnesota’s physician burnout rate is 46%, ranking it 43rd best in the country. Wisconsin and Iowa, which have average burnout rate compared with the rest of the nation, have rates of 41% and 42%, respectively. Nebraska, which has the second-lowest burnout rate nationally, has a burnout rate of 28%.
University of New Haven School of Health Sciences Practitioner in Residence Michael French said in the report that doctors and health care workers, especially those in hospitals, have faced major burnout during the pandemic.
“Burnout often makes us focus on the negative aspects of a career and makes recovery more difficult,” he said. “While some doctors may be finding meaning in the pandemic, many others are overworked and overburdened. We are asking more of our physicians than at any other point in my lifetime.”
French said doctors are also affected by the public’s view of their work.
“More than ever, we have individuals without medical or public health training impacting the decision-making of others,” he said. “Social media has given everyone a megaphone, and, to a patient, those voices can drown out a peer-reviewed paper. Physicians need to blend the science of medicine with the art of communication to help patients make evidence-based decisions.”