Results from a recent study show Texas is a pretty great place to practice medicine.

A WalletHub study ranking every state in the U.S., and the District of Columbia, named Texas the sixth best state in the country to be a doctor in 2016.

The rankings are based on a variety of measurements, including opportunity and competition factors, in which Texas ranked sixteenth, and medical quality factors, in which it ranked fourth.

Among Texas’ top perks are its monthly average starting salary for physicians, which ranked seventh overall at just under $4,000, and its malpractice award payouts per capita, which rank fourth lowest among other states at $3.74.

The Lone Star state also scored high marks for annual mean wages for anesthesiologists and family and general practitioners, ranking seventh and eighth best overall.

“Texas has low competition among physicians with 1.53 doctors for every 1,000 residents, so there are more opportunities for new doctors. Texas is doing a great job in attracting those doctors, as the average monthly salary is the seventh highest in the country at almost $4,000,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez, who also noted the low malpractice award payout rate and low malpractice liability insurance rate, which stands at around $13,000 per year, as drawing points for prospective doctors.

“From (a) physician’s point of view in terms of medial quality, Texas is hard to beat,” she said.

Dr. Katherine Lincoln, a wound care physician at Metroplex Hospital in Killeen, moved to Texas from New York in 2008, and said “physician friendly laws that govern legal action” in Texas, known as TORT reforms, help make it a great state to work in.

“Its foundation allows doctors to practice outstanding medicine without practicing ‘defensive medicine,’” Lincoln said. The TORT reforms also help keep the medical malpractice rates low in Texas, she added.

“In addition, physician reimbursement rates are high and the cost of living here is very low, making it a great place for raising a family with money left over for retirement,” Lincoln said.

Luke Potts, physician recruiter for Seton Medical Center Harker Heights, summed up what he hears from doctors wanting to make their way to Texas to work.

“I recruit physicians from all over the U.S.,” he said. “I hear three things from most of them: The climate, the terrain and the cost of living.”

Dr. Cynthia Shirley, an obstetrician and gynecologist, and one of the 279 physicians currently on staff at Seton in Harker Heights, said Texas “works to keep its physicians and to ensure patient safety and satisfaction.” And with its diverse landscapes, she added, “It is a beautiful place to live.”

As for Texas’ long-term ability to maintain a high standing with physicians, Gonzalez said WalletHub analysts predict the state will remain an attractive choice.

“We expect Texas to maintain a high ranking because of its robust opportunities, high wages and low cost of living for both experienced and soon-to-be doctors,” she said.

To see where other states ranked, view the complete WalletHub study athttps://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-for-doctors/11376/.

By JC Jones | Herald staff writer:


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