RI Ranked 2nd Worst State in U.S. for Doctors

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


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Rhode Island is ranked as the second worst state in the country for doctors.

According to a recent study completed by WalletHub, Rhode Island is ranked 50th out of 51 states.

“Doctors are among the highest-paid and most educated professionals in the U.S. Just consider the fact that “physician” is the most popular profession within the top 1 percent of earners. And the high salary average makes sense, given the importance of their life-saving work and the struggles that come with life in the medical profession,” said WalletHub.

Last year, Rhode Island was ranked as the fifth worst state in the country for doctors. 

RI's HealthCare Problem

The ranking comes a couple of months after the state saw the closure of Memorial Hospital, which led to more than 800 employees losing their jobs. 

Earlier this month, Care New England's Women & Infants announced it was closing its Woonsocket office. 

“We are turning into a medical colony. On the line is local control and deciding which services will be provided and at what cost. When you lose local control, you lose local jobs. The [state] legislature has given up on meaningful health policy planning," former Rhode Island Director of Health Dr. Michael Fine told GoLocalProv. 

RI Rankings:

  • 44th Best – Avg. Annual Wage of Physicians (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
  • 29th Best– Avg. Monthly Starting Salary of Physicians (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
  • 44th Best – Hospitals per Capita
  • 18th Best– Projected % of Population Aged 65 & Older by 2030
  • 47th Best – Projected Physicians per Capita by 2024
  • 32nd Best – Punitiveness of State Medical Board
  • 48th Best– Malpractice Award Payout Amount per Capita
  • 25th Best – Annual Malpractice Liability Insurance Rate


The Rankings

Rhode Island is ranked ahead of only New Jersey, who ranks last. 

Rhode Island is ranked directly behind Hawaii and New York, who rank 48th and 49th respectively.

The best state for doctors is South Dakota.

See the Full Rankings in the Map Below

Source: WalletHub

The Method

In order to identify the best states for doctors, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, “Opportunity & Competition” and “Medical Environment.”

They evaluated those dimensions using 16 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights.

WalletHub then determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

Opportunity & Competition – Total Points: 70

  • Physicians’ Average Annual Wage: Double Weight (~11.68 Points)
  • Physicians’ Average Monthly Starting Salary: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Hospitals per Capita: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Insured Population Rate: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Employer-Based Insurance Rate: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Projected Share of Elderly Population: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Current Competition: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Share of Medical Residents Retained: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Projected Competition: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Number of CME Credits Required: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)
  • Presence of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Law: Full Weight (~5.83 Points)


Medical Environment – Total Points: 30

  • Quality of Public Hospital System: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
  • Physician Assistants per Capita: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
  • Punitiveness of State Medical Board: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
  • Malpractice Award Payout Amount per Capita: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
  • Annual Malpractice Liability Insurance Rate: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)

Related Slideshow: 7 Implications and Unintended Consequences of a Care New England and Partners Merger

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Care New England Continues to Struggle

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Can the unions battle?

Within hours of GoLocal breaking the news of the merger, the United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP) President Linda McDonald, RN, released the following statement today:

"This proposed merger has the ability to impact thousands of jobs and the quality of care in Rhode Island and should be thoroughly scrutinized. Like most Rhode Islanders, we only recently learned of this proposal but expect Care New England and Partners HealthCare to be transparent in their process and begin a conversation with our union about the effect any deal would have on our members and our patients.  

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