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N.J. isn't a very healthy state for doctors to live and work in, study finds

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New Jersey is (still) one of the worst states in the U.S. for doctors to live and work, according to a new report by Wallet Hub.

The Garden State ranks 46th, just above Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York and the District of Columbia, which comes in dead last at No. 51.

The problem isn’t high competition, as is the case with New York, Rhode Island and D.C., but a high cost of living, high number of hospitals per capita and high malpractice award payouts per capita.

This is far from news to the state, according to the Medical Society of New Jersey.

“Unfortunately, the information in this report is not news to MSNJ. We have been advocating to improve the practice environment for physicians on many fronts,” said Chief Operating Officer Mishael Azam. “We supported legislation to expand our medical student loan redemption program, but the bill was vetoed. We are fighting to reduce taxation, particularly on ambulatory facilities.”

Authors of the legislation that enacted taxes in 2004, including the 3.5 percent flat tax on ambulatory surgical center incomes greater than $300,000, tried to repeal the taxes in 2006, but the effort was vetoed by then-Gov. Jon Corzine.

“We fight legislative mandates that increase cost and we are fighting to improve insurance contracts and payments. We hope policymakers take this report seriously and recognize physicians’ contributions to society and to New Jersey’s economy,” Azam said.

A recent study released by the American Medical Association revealed the physician industry accounted for almost 8 percent of the total state GDP, or about $39 million in sales revenue in 2012. In addition, total wage and benefits amounts to $22 billion, and physicians generate local and state tax revenue of about $2 billion.

Here are some of the rankings from Wallet Hub:

  • 24th – Insured population rate
  • 28th – Malpractice liability insurance rate
  • 29th – Projected % of population aged 65 & older by 2030
  • 36th – Projected physicians per capita (2022)
  • 42nd – Cost of living-adjusted mean annual wage
  • 45th – Malpractice award payouts per capita
  • 47th – Cost of living-adjusted average starting salary
  • 47th – Number of hospitals per capita

For more on the rankings, click here.

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