Leavitt Partners Releases “Majority of Physicians Do Not Practice in the State They Graduated Medical School” White Paper

Salt Lake City, October 11, 2017 –  In the coming decades, many states are projected to have a shortage of both specialty and primary care physicians. Today, Leavitt Partners released “Majority of Physicians Do Not Practice in the State They Graduated Medical School,” a new white paper examining each state’s retention of their medical school graduates.

The authors analyze state retention by a variety of factors, including specialty and geographic region. The paper also examines the relationship between physicians per capita and state retention of medical school graduates. Key findings include:

  1. On average, 38 percent of physicians practice in the state they trained; although significant variation exists from a low of 4.7 percent retention to a high of 60.2 percent retention;
  2. Specialists are much more likely to leave their medical school state; and
  3. States with low numbers of physicians per capita are more likely to retain their physicians, while states with more physicians per capita are less likely to retain their medical school graduates.

Physician shortages may impair a state’s ability to provide residents with access to high-value care. States can pursue a variety of strategies beyond medical school enrollment expansion to bolster their supply of physicians, including increasing residency positions or pursuing value-based care practices such as effectively using physician and non-physician care teams.

The white paper and an interactive map with our findings can be accessed here.

About Leavitt Partners:

Leavitt Partners is a health care intelligence business. The firm helps clients successfully navigate the evolving role of value in health care by informing, advising, and convening industry leaders on value market analytics, alternative payment models, federal strategies, insurance market insights, and alliances. Through its family of businesses, the firm provides investment support, data and analytics, member-based alliances, and direct services to clients to support decision-making strategies in the value economy. For more information please visit