Idaho offers an extremely low cost of living, average physician compensation ($289,000 last year), low malpractice payouts (just $5.17 per capita in 2015), and a middling overall tax burden of 9.3%. The three cities of Boise, Meridian, and Nampa, spreading east to west over about 30 miles, constitute the "Treasure Valley," Idaho's largest urban area. Dr Brian Crownover, 48, a family practice physician in private practice, moved to Boise several years ago after retiring from a 28-year career in the US Air Force to be near his parents. Although he grew up in the San Diego area and went to medical school in Washington, DC, Dr Crownover says he prefers "the open, spread-out" Western lifestyle. Dr Crownover, who lives in Boise, opened his own practice in nearby Meridian. "I have the flexibility to give new patients an hour-long visit and 30-minute follow-ups; for me, that is professionally satisfying. I get to practice to the full scope of my training, and I get to chart my own course."
City profile: Ringed by miles of trails, bifurcated by the Boise River, and close to world-class ski resorts, Boise is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Forbes calls it one of the top-20 cities for working parents, and WalletHub ranked it 11th on its 2016 "Best Cites to Find a Job" list.