The Inside Job: Five Reasons to Practice Medicine in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

When one thinks of Washington State, Seattle usually comes to mind. In the last two decades, Seattle has been one of the fastest growing cities in America and a desired landing spot for many job-seeking physicians. However, with that high growth and popularity, Seattle has become an extremely saturated physician market. Most competition is based on business growth instead of actual physician shortages or patient needs. Couple saturation with an extremely high cost of living, and even a physician will find it difficult to get ahead financially. Scared away from Seattle? It is time to consider Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

The Olympic peninsula area is best known for the breath-taking beauty of Olympic National Park and the Pacific Coastline. Easy access to Seattle provides every metro amenity one could ask for.  The peninsula is an outdoor person’s paradise that is often overlooked as a great place to practice medicine.


Here are five reasons you should consider practicing in the area:


  • No state income tax. Being a high-earner, and let’s face it, all physicians working full-time in America are high-earners, makes you a favorite target of the tax man. Washington State is one of seven states that do not have a state income tax. This will save most physicians at least $10,000-$20,000/year. Where some of the seven-income tax free states make up the revenue with a higher than average sales tax, Washington enjoys a state-wide base sales tax rate of just 6.5%.


  • Physician-friendly patient to doctor ratios. While the area is a very large mass of land, the Peninsula is home to a collection of smaller communities. There is only one town that has a population of over 10,000; Port Angeles. These towns don’t over recruit physicians; they plan for, and react to, physician demand due to need, not competitive forces. This means you will be practicing in an area that your services are truly needed, and appreciated.


  • Easy Seattle and Victoria, BC access. You can get to Seattle from most parts of the Olympic Peninsula in less than 2.5hrs. There is a ferry that takes you across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, BC. You can travel with ease throughout the region.


  • Lower than normal Pacific Northwest Cost of Living. Anyone not from California that has considered a move to the Pacific Northwest has likely experienced a bit of sticker shock upon looking at housing options. In particular, the I-5 corridor from Portland, OR to Vancouver, BC is notoriously high-priced. Starter homes of 1200sq can easily fetch in the $500K+range and physician-worthy homes are usually seven figure affairs. The Olympic Peninsula offers a respite from the outrageous prices often found in Seattle and its suburban communities.


  • Outdoor Recreational Paradise. From Olympic National Park and its five designated wilderness areas to the San Juan Straits, the Peninsula is loaded with outdoor activities. The Park itself is home to both Mount Olympus and the Hoh Rain Forest and has enough trails to last a lifetime. Most communities offer some sort of coastal access, whether it be the ocean, the straits or canals; water-front property is readily available. There are several natural lakes and reservoirs and the Pacific Coast is dotted with great beached and remote islands.


The above are just five reasons to consider making the move to the Olympic Peninsula. There are many more including physician-friendly compensation packages, excellent schools and for the foodies out there, and some of the best seafood in the world. Call today to discuss available positions.