After completing your residency, you’ll encounter your first big decision as a licensed physician: where to practice medicine. This could be a difficult decision since you’ll have so many options. Graduates from American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine can practice throughout the United States. When looking for a city to practice, Medscape found that physicians valued:

  • Comfortable living
  • Monetary compensation
  • Agreeable climate
  • Optimal job openings
  • Low taxes
  • Low physician density

Keep in mind that low physician density is a symptom of the physician shortage, which is already adversely affecting much of the United States. However, the shortage has created more opportunities to practice in cities around the county. Based on these qualifiers, here are five cities that are ideal to practice medicine:

Huntsville, Texas

Although Huntsville has a population of only 35,078, it is located between Dallas and Houston and includes Huntsville Memorial Hospital, one of the top community hospitals in the state. The cost of living is relatively low, there is no state income tax, and there is a lower competition rate (only 20.2 physicians per 10,000 residents). The compensation for practitioners here is around $197,042.
Boise, Idaho

In general, Idaho is the ninth most affordable state in the country. It has approximately 17 physicians per 10,000 residents, which is the lowest physician density in the United States. Boise is the most populous city in Idaho but has a small town atmosphere, and if you’re looking for a weekend getaway, it’s near the Rocky Mountains. The average compensation for physicians is around $247,000.
Nashville/Memphis, Tennessee

Physicians in this region make an average of about $247,000. Tennessee has the second lowest cost of living in the country and has no state income tax. It has a mild four-season climate and a business-friendly culture, which is great if you’re thinking about opening a private practice. Memphis is also fantastic if you’re a classic rock buff: you can visit the recording studios where rock was born.
Indianapolis, Indiana

With the fifth lowest cost of living in the U.S., Indiana is an appealing place for work. Average income for practicing physicians is between $248,000 and $259,000. There is low physician density with just 21 physicians per 10,000 residents and a higher rate of employer-sponsored insurance. Indianapolis has many sporting events year-round and museums. In addition, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are prominent in the city: two of Indiana’s major health systems (Community Health Network and St. Vincent Health) are located in Indianapolis.
Manchester/Nashua, New Hampshire

If you’re looking for a place to raise a family, New Hampshire ranks number four overall for school systems. The cost of living in the New England area is higher than the rest of the country, but New Hampshire remains one of the more affordable areas. Compensation averages around $157,015. Competition is lower than surrounding states with about 27 physicians per 10,000 residents. The state maintains the lowest tax rate in the New England area and there is no sales tax.
This list is merely a sampling, though. Thousands of cities and towns throughout the United States are in dire need for physicians. Wherever you end up practicing, you’ll undoubtedly thrive professionally and make a huge impact on the community.