GREAT FALLS — A study released by WalletHub last month ranks Montana as the best among all 50 states (and D.C.) for physicians. They were analyzed using what WalletHub calls two dimensions: opportunity and competition, and medical environment. The two dimensions were broken down into 19 metrics, including hospitals per capita; average annual wage; hospital safety; and physician burnout.
Working as a physician in Montana is the perfect fit for Dr. Jay Taylor, the chief of staff at Pondera Medical Center in Conrad.
"I've enjoyed coming back because of the lifestyle, really ultimately. Being able to have the outdoors and the activities, open spaces, kind of pick the way you want to practice. I kind of had ideas growing up what I wanted to do with regard to family medicine, the things I wanted to be able to do, and Montana allows me to do that,” he said.
His reaction to the #1 ranking? "I was actually surprised. I mean, I know it's a positive workplace. I think we have a great medical system in Montana.”
Not everyone in the medical profession is surprised, though.
"When you get out, you actually can get out and not just be in a city still,” said Torie Poser, the business development director at Central Montana Medical Center in Lewistown.
She said just knowing what Lewistown offers for doctors, the state's ranking doesn't surprise her: "You are in a rural community. You can practice (the) full spectrum of what you're credentialed to do. The sell for us here, too, is you have a work-life balance."
The top and bottom five are:
- #1: Montana
- #2: Minnesota
- #3: Idaho
- #4: Wisconsin
- #5: Kansas
- #47: New Jersey
- #48: District of Columbia
- #49: New York
- #50: Alaska
- #51: Rhode Island