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Top Cities for Female Physicians to Practice Medicine

Female physicians are making their mark in medicine in more ways than one. From a record number of female medical students entering the classroom to studies that show in-hospital mortality ranking lower among patients treated by female physicians, it’s undeniable that women in white coats have come a long way.

In fact, while an article from Best Colleges points out that women made up only 7% of admitted medical students in 1960, today that number has increased to just over 50%. Clearly, the gender gap is narrowing for women in medicine—and not only as practicing clinicians, but also in administrative roles.

But when it comes to where these female physicians and healthcare administrators are calling home, which cities are most popular?

Putting Down Roots after Residency

Once their residencies are complete, both male and female physicians are highly sought after by the cities and states in which they initially practiced. According to an article by Stat, medical schools, hospitals, and even state legislators are doing all that they can to retain these graduates.

“They’re forgiving tens of thousands of dollars in loans, setting up mentorships, and recruiting med school grads with local ties in an effort to hold on to providers,” the article states. “Convince a 30-year-old doctor fresh out of her residency to stay put, and she could easily wind up delivering four decades of care in a needy community.”

Much of the retention rates—and ultimately where physicians end up—rely heavily upon the availability of physician jobs. For instance, the article states, “California, with an abundance of space and jobs for doctors, retains 70% of residents and fellows trained in-state—compared to just 28% in tiny New Hampshire, where full-time physician jobs are few and leaving the state may only mean moving a short distance.”

Finding Their Perfect Place

Beyond a connection to their roots, female physicians are most concerned about issues related to time demands when choosing a workplace. In Women Physicians 2020, a study released by Medscape, 64% of female physicians cited “Work-Life Balance” as one of their top concerns, by far the most often cited. What’s more, of the female physicians under the age of 45 who were surveyed, 92% said they “sometimes” or “always” felt “conflicted as a parent” because of work obligations. Locations that—by culture, support access or other means—are better suited to ameliorate those concerns will be more desirable.

Wherever those cities and states may happen to be, though, the draw of a particular place for female physicians must also check the following boxes:

  • Competitive annual average pay
  • Potential for professional and financial growth
  • Reasonable cost of living
  • Access to recreation and entertainment

Destination Top Dollar

When it comes to the first item on that list—annual average pay—the following cities provide the best compensation for female physicians, according to the Physicians Thrive 2022 “Physician Compensation Report,”

  1. Milwaukee, Wisconsin ($363,717 average annual compensation)
  2. Minneapolis, Minnesota ($354,160)
  3. Jacksonville, Florida ($350,418)
  4. Birmingham, Alabama ($334,327)
  5. Cincinnati, Ohio ($334,208)
  6. Phoenix, Arizona ($325,834)
  7. Louis, Missouri ($324,657)
  8. Atlanta, Georgia ($323,785)
  9. Dallas, Texas ($321,698)
  10. Nashville, Tennessee ($318,890)

Sought-After States

From a more general perspective, there is also a handful of states that reign supreme for women in white coats. Maybe it’s the weather. Or culture of work-life balance. Or, perhaps it’s the number of medical facilities per capita.

Whatever the reasons may be, an article by Practice Match helps to break down the eight most popular for practicing female physicians. They are:

  • Massachusetts (41% of the state’s Physician workforce is female)
  • Vermont (40%)
  • Rhode Island (39%)
  • Maryland (39%)
  • Oregon (38%)
  • New York (37%)
  • Illinois (37%)

And, drumroll please….

Although it’s not be a state, the District of Columbia tops the list for the most popular area of the country for female physicians. “The District of Columbia’s physician workforce is over 46% female with more than 2,700 top female doctors calling the area home,” the article explains.

No matter where a female physician decides to call home—whether she travels the world or plants herself in one place for life, one thing is certain: she will make her own unique mark upon all of the patients who are lucky enough to call her “Doctor.”

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Physicians Angels

More time for physicians to see more patients, provide better care, and live their lives. Physicians Angels provides one-of-a-kind EMR data management services to healthcare providers through our real time Virtual Scribe service.