With National Doctors’ Day coming up on March 30 and physicians working to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and administer vaccines, WalletHub released its report on 2021's Best & Worst States for Doctors, stating that, of all 50 states, Montana tops the list.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez provided details.

“Obviously this was a quite the year for doctors and nurses, one of the most essential professions especially during the pandemic, so we wanted to see where doctors have the best, the best place in which to practice medicine,” said Gonzalez.

She said the study looked at a variety of ways doctors excel in Montana.

“We looked at a number of different factors,” said Gonzalez. “There were about 20 different metrics, ranging from the average annual wage, to hospitals per capita, to the quality of the public hospital system. This is looking at it from the doctor's point of view. Most patients in Montana did very well and so it ranked number one in terms of being the best state for doctors right now.”

Gonzalez said there are a number of factors that make Montana very ‘doctor friendly’.

“It really comes down to that overall medical environment for Montana,” said Gonzalez. “That's where it did the best, with the high quality of public hospital systems, a safe hospital system, a lot more physician assistants per capita, and the State Medical Board is not punitive there, or at least less punitive than many other states. Also, there’s not a lot of serious disciplinary action taken by the medical board, which if you're a doctor, is good news, and in addition, malpractice liability insurance is a lot cheaper in Montana.”

Gonzalez said Montana’s small population is being served well by the number of physicians living here.

“That's another thing that went into play here is how many hospitals there are per capita,” she said. “So in Montana, because it has a smaller population than many other places, it actually works out pretty well and has now for that number, so that is another thing that bodes well again, as long as that a huge amount of people don’t start moving there.”

To identify the best states for those in the business of saving lives, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 19 key metrics. The data set ranges from the average annual wage of physicians to hospitals per capita to the quality of the public hospital system.

Alaska was rated last in the report.

Click to read the full report from WalletHub.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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