In Pursuit of Happiness
This is the year of the pursuit of happiness. Medscape has long heard from physicians that you're burned out and stressed. So for our 2017 ranking of best and worst places to practice, we're focusing on locations that help you avoid burnout and create a calmer and happier life.
The rankings were determined by blending 12 separate state-based rankings compiled by outside sources and cover many factors that contribute to burnout. Rankings include rates of malpractice filings and medical board actions in each state and even income levels—because many doctors believe they'd have lower stress if their incomes were higher. We also measure physicians' risk of being inundated with a high volume of patients—a common cause of burnout—due to low physician supply in the state.
But most of the measures apply to all people in the state, not just physicians, such as psychological well-being, violent crime, divorce rates, and help for families with children (see methodology section at the end of the article). We also offer state metrics—rates of happiness, crime, and traffic—to round out our descriptions of the climate physicians will confront in each state.
Then, as in past Medscape "best places" lists, we point out a city in each of the states—based, in this case, on how much that city might help physicians avoid burnout. For each city, we provide rankings of stress factors, such as traffic, and of amenities that might help physicians maintain balanced lives, such as theater, music, hiking, biking, and sports.
1. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minnesota is a happy, family-friendly state with many outdoor diversions
Physicians here have a relatively healthy population but have a high paperwork burden
Minneapolis provides physicians with many diversions from work
State Profile: "Minnesota Nice" is about being courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered. This is the second happiest, the fourth most family-friendly, and the fifth most livable state. With many outdoors activities at hand, residents have the ninth highest interest in wildlife-related recreation. The state has been named the seventh safest, with the best drivers in the nation for accidents and fatalities, according to auto insurance statistics.
Relief for Doctors: Minnesota has the fourth healthiest population and the second highest rate of employer-sponsored health insurance in the nation. The state has the 17th lowest number of malpractice lawsuits, and its medical board has been rated as having the third lowest amount of disciplinary actions in the nation. The state is ranked the third highest in practices' teamwork with physician assistants or nurse practitioners in their practices. However, physicians here may have a high paperwork burden due to quality reporting requirements.
City Profile: Minneapolis' downtown buildings are connected by almost 5 miles of closed walkways, which protect against winter and exemplify the city's cooperative spirit. It is rated as the third happiest and healthiest population, the fourth highest for well-being, and the eighth best place to relocate to, but it also ranks midway in terms of crime. There is a lot to do here. It is ranked the eighth most cultural, the 18th coolest, the sixth most bike-friendly, and the 10th most walkable city.
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Any views expressed above are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WebMD or Medscape.
Cite this: Leigh Page. Best Places to Practice to Avoid Burnout - Medscape - May 10, 2017.