Worst Cities for Eye Docs? You May Live in One.

Aug 24, 2015 | Practice Management

The results are in, and they’re grim for east coast doctors. As a Bell customer, chances are your turf made Medscape’s list of the worst places to practice medicine in 2015.

By analyzing data on cost-of-living, malpractice payouts, state and local taxes, and physician compensation, Medscape found that newbie doctors may want to avoid setting up shop in New York and Maryland – specifically, New York City and Baltimore.

Why? Let’s start with NYC. At $249,000, its average physician’s compensation is more than $22,000 less than the national average.

And on top of an extremely high cost of living – twice that of many large cities – New York has one of the highest physician densities. As an ophthalmic distributor, that’s a great problem to have, but not for doctors who grumble about competition.

In Maryland, doctors face similar issues: a high cost of living and too many doctors. Another reason? Economic challenges. According to Medscape, the state economy grew by a sluggish 1.8 percent last year.

Locals (and Bell) beg to differ

Of course, doctors here didn’t take the criticism lightly.

“Being located on the coast and blessed with the beautiful Chesapeake Bay, the state offers a high quality of life for physicians in their free time,” said Peter J. McDonnell, MD, chief medical editor of Ophthalmology Times. “I have practiced in only two states during my career, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, so my experience may be somewhat limited, but it surprises me that this publication would put Maryland low on its list.”

As fellow east coasters, we agree. There may be cheaper places to live and states with fewer doctors, but you’re a Bell customer. You welcome competition and work with some of the brightest minds in eye care.

And lower physician payouts? Sure, they give you acid. But with accurate instruments to see more patients, eliminate costly re-dos, and increase productivity, Bell eases the burn.

Plus, if you moved to Nashville, Tennessee (Medscape’s top place for eye doctors), you’d have to take Bell off speed dial. It may have a low cost of living, majestic scenery and some of the best barbeque east of the Mississippi, but it’s outside of Bell’s coverage zone.