Find an Eye MD near you!

State Journal

The July edition of Medical Economics magazine contained what might be a surprise to a lot of West Virginians.

The publication named the Mountain State as one of the 10 best places for physicians to practice. West Virginia ranked ninth on the list.

The positives the article listed included the state’s relatively low unemployment rate, which was 7.5 percent at the time the magazine was published. That was well below the national rate and the rates of neighboring states at the time.

Another positive was that the state saw income increase in 2008 as opposed to decreases in the rest of the nation. The magazine quoted a recruiter who said some annual compensation packages for doctors who come to West Virginia run $200,000 to $225,000.

Meanwhile, Medical Economics lists the state’s median annual primary care compensation at $151,500, which was the lowest listed in the article.

West Virginia came in just ahead of Alaska, which was ranked at 10. The rest of the list was:

8. Alabama

7. Minnesota

6. Oregon

5. New Hampshire

4. North Dakota

3. Indiana

2. Wisconsin

1. Texas


Although West Virginia made the list, the article did mention some negatives about practicing here.

“Despite reforms in 2001, malpractice liability insurance rates, while on the downward trend, are still some of the most expensive among the 10 Best Places to Practice,” the journal said. “The state is also gradually enacting a number of corporate and income tax reforms, which add to an already higher than average tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation.”

West Virginia’s malpractice insurance rate listed in the article at $20,528 to $23,057 per year. The only other state on the list that comes close is Texas, which as a rate range of $8,839 to $31,668. The median rate in Texas, however, is $16,674.

Medical Economics lists Beckley as the “Best town you’ve never heard of.”