Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Where Should Anesthesiologists Live?

Where is the perfect place for anesthesiologists to practice? If all you care about is money, there is a new salary comparison tool to guide you. Using data from the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics, Rasmussen College has developed a website to compare the buying power of your salary across all fifty states.

Click to enlarge
I made a screen shot of the Rasmussen result for anesthesiologists. First a couple of quirks. The salaries for anesthesiologists that the BLS uses seem to be a lot lower than the Medscape survey of physician salaries released earlier this year. Medscape reported that anesthesiologists made on average $338,000 last year, while the BLS seem to list anesthesiologists as making only in the mid to low $200's. Because Medscape's survey is based on doctors self reporting their own incomes, there may be a bit of a bias towards high income earners being more eager to participate.

It's surprising that anesthesiologists in the big coastal states of New York and California make among the lowest incomes in the country, ranking only 47 and 48, respectively. Illinois, another big population state, did even worse coming in at 49 while the poorest state in the union, Mississippi, unsurprisingly offered the least amount of money for anesthesia services. In the graph I also highlighted the other populous states of Florida and Texas.

The interesting picture appears when these numbers take cost of living into account. The high tax and high cost states of CA and NY stay stuck at the bottom. IL, due to its lower cost of living, rises slightly in the rankings. TX rises due to its low tax environment while FL drops because of its higher cost of living compared to TX. The high income low tax states like Kansas increase their buying power even more. Is it any wonder doctors tend to skew conservative and Republican? While money is nice though, the Midwestern states don't get to celebrate Christmas like we do out here on the left coast.

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