According to rankings published by Medscape, a medical specialist site, Alabama has been identified as the third best state in the nation to practice medicine in 2016. Chiefly, the rankings looked at the financial aspects of working as a physician in Alabama, as well as the malpractice environment, cost of living, and tax burden. Only North Carolina and Texas surpass Alabama as states that ranked higher.
For physicians living in the state of Alabama, the average salary is approximately $296,000, which is four percent higher the national average. That fact coupled with the state’s exceptionally low cost of living means that physicians in that state are faring well. The cost of living in Alabama is 10 percent less than the national average and there’s a tax burden of just 8.7 percent, which means that wages have a great lifespan in the state.
The Medscape study also revealed that malpractice payouts, suggesting a favorable malpractice environment. In Alabama, malpractice payouts only reach $4.15 per capita each year, which is the fourth lowest among all states. Birmingham’s physicians, specifically, are thriving due to good schools, growing suburbs, and premium health care facilities like the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. The state may have ranked even higher if it weren’t for slow economic growth and above-average unemployment (6.2 percent vs. 4.9 percent nationally).
The report identified Birmingham (the state’s economic engine) and Hoover as the best cities in the state to practice medicine. Hoover happens to be one of the most in-demand suburbs in the state with ample shopping and good schools. However, there are a few cons for Hoover, including the fact that the housing costs are more than twice the state’s average.