Guide to Practicing Medicine in Florida

Florida is an attractive place to live for many people, regardless of profession. The warm climate, the incredible amenities, and the lower cost of living (LCOL) make it an exceptional place to call home. For doctors, there are additional benefits to practicing medicine in Florida, including a competitive doctor’s salary in Florida.

It’s true that when you practice medicine in Florida, you’re never more than about 50 miles from the beach, and that often means that you’ll have access to plenty of rest and relaxation opportunities. While Miami is the exception, the cost of living (and the cost of practicing medicine) in Florida is reasonable. In addition to this, there is no state income tax, which means your doctor’s salary in Florida goes further overall.

The top reasons to practice medicine in Florida

Florida offers other benefits as well for medical practices, such as offering access to a wide range of patients, as it is a large and densely populated state in most areas, and there is not a lot of competition for physicians. The population is older in some areas, such as Fort Lauderdale, where many people come to retire. However, there’s a lot of demand for medical care here, including all areas of specialties.

The top reasons not to practice in Florida

There are a lot of positives for practicing medicine in Florida. One area of concern is the high malpractice climate, which has improved some over the last decade through limitations on judgments. Yet, overall liability insurance for Florida physicians may be higher than in some areas. There has been a large number of lawsuits brought against providers, which makes it harder for some types of doctors to practice here.

Breaking Down Doctor Salary in Florida

How much can you earn in a doctor salary in Florida? There are quite a few variations of this information based on factors as far reaching as location and specialty.

Overall doctor salary in Florida shares data about how much a doctor in Florida is likely to earn. According to their data, a generalist physician in Florida earned $209,200 in October of 2022. However, salaries overall fall between $181,132 and $234,003.

Take a look at some data about various specialties for doctor salaries in Florida.

Internal medicine

The average doctor salary in Florida for an internal medicine provider, according to, was $292,743.

Family medicine

The average doctor salary in Florida for a family medicine provider, according to, was $290,053.


The average doctor salary in Florida for pediatrics, according to, was $169,221.


The average doctor salary in Florida for surgeons, according to, was $298,341


The average doctor salary in Florida for anesthesiologists, according to, was $373,697.

Read this: How Female Physicians Can Counteract the Gender Pay Gap

Which Specialties Are in Need In Florida?

According to the 2021 Physician Workforce Annual Report, there is a need for care providers in a wide range of areas. The survey found 89,396 physicians had a license to practice medicine in Florida from 2020 to 2021. Of those, 77,631 renewed their license that year and responded to a survey about their work. Of those, 55,809, or nearly 72%, stated they are providing direct patient care in the state of Florida. This data found that:

  • There is less than 2% of the doctors in the state serve patients in the rural counties of the state.
  • About a third of doctors in the state’s 67 counties have a per capita rate of less than 10 doctors per 10,000 of the population.

Of providers in the state, about 28.2% provide care in internal medication. About 14.6% provide care in family medicine. Primary care physicians make up about 31.4% of all doctors in the state, and pediatrics account for 8.1%.

Also important to note is that 9.2% or 5,107 active physicians state they plan to retire from practice in the next five years, which could create a gap in care in some areas.

Of these providers, 49,876, or 89.4%, are allopathic (MD) doctors, and 5,933, or 10.6%, reported being osteopathic (DO) providers.

Practice Characteristics

While there is no area of Florida medical care that stands out with a high level of demand over another, there are some fields that are losing doctors at a faster rate than others. This includes:

  • Anesthesiologists
  • Orthopedic medicine providers
  • Urology
  • Nuclear medicine providers

These specialties saw a drop in the number of doctors providing care from 2019/2020 to 2020/2021.

What Business Formation Is Best for a Solo Practitioner in Florida?

Physicians in Florida have several options if they want to establish their own private practice in Florida.

Sole Propietorship

For physicians who wish to work on their own, operating as a sole proprietorship is an option. It is the easiest way to get a practice up and running in Florida. As a very business-friendly state, Florida makes it rather easy for doctors to get set up and established in the state.

A sole proprietorship does come with some limitations. For example, the doctor maintains all liability for the practice, including claims made against them as well as all debts. This also means that there is no separation between the practice and the doctor’s assets, putting personal assets at risk in some situations.

Limited Liability Partnership

A better option for many medical providers in the state is the use of a limited liability partnership. This is much like a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), but the difference is that it is a general partnership that partners manage and taxed as a partnership (for those working with another provider or business investor). There is more liability protection for partners in this situation.

An LLC is an option for some doctors in Florida as well. This is a legal formation of a business that allows all members to sign an operating agreement. An LLC can be designed for just one physician – you do not need to have a large company to operate it. The LLC is beneficial because it creates a separation between the company’s assets and the assets of the doctor, meaning there is less risk that your personal assets could be lost if a claim is made against your practice.


An S Corp may be another route for some doctors to take. It is a bit more of a formality and requires additional steps beyond that of an LLC, but it can be beneficial in some situations where there is a need for shareholder opinion.

Related Reading: How to Get your Florida Medical License

CME Credits Required to Maintain a Medical License

For those who decide to operate in the state of Florida, it is important to understand the legal requirements of doing so. That includes obtaining the necessary medical license in the state. Florida requires physicians to obtain a license and then maintain it over time.

A component of maintaining that medical license is continuing medical education (CME) requirements. In the state of Florida, physicians must complete at least 40 CME credits for each license renewal cycle. For those completing their first license renewals, there is only a need to complete three hours of CME credits at that point.

Licenses are biennial, which means that this type of education must be completed at least every two years. Licenses expire for all providers on January 31 each year. For those in Group 1 licenses, those expire in even numbered years. For those in Group 2 licenses, those expire in odd numbered years.

The state does have some requirements for CME hours for the first biennium renewal – given by the Florida Board of Medicine. Additionally, the Florida State Medical Board provides additional requirements for the second and then all other renewals after that point.

The CME requirements are dependent on the specific type of doctor (MD or DO):


For MDs, the requirements for the second and ongoing renewals for CME credit hours must include the following:

  • 40 hours with at least two hours of either Category 1 or Category 2 prevention of medical errors courses
  • Additionally, every third renewal requires that the doctor complete a full 40 hours of CMEs, with at least two of those CMEs being in a Category 1 or Category 2 prevention of medical errors program as well as two hours in a Category 1 or Category 2 domestic violence program.
  • For any MD that has a license that allows them to prescribe any type of controlled substance, there is an additional requirement of completing two hours of AMA Category 1 or AOA Category 1-A on prescribing. This is required for every biennial renewal of a license.


For DOs, the terms are a bit different.

  •  For every biennium, five of the CME credit hours must include at least one hour in each of the following areas:
    • Professional and medical ethics education
    • Federal and state laws related to controlled substance prescribing
    • Florida laws and rules for medical providers
    • And 2 hours of prevention of medical errors
  • Every third biennial, there is also the need for DOs to complete two hours of CMEs for domestic violence courses
  • The first biennial renewal also requires the completion of one hour of HIV/AIDs courses
  • AOA Category 1-A CE-related credit hours (20 of them) in general topics must also be completed. This must be in osteopathic medicine.

Keep in mind that these rules have changed over the last few years. They may change in the future, which means doctors should verify the details.

Want to try out working in Florida? Read this: What it takes to be a Traveling Physician

Florida State Taxes

There are a few key things to know about Florida state taxes and how this may affect the salary of doctors working in the state.

Income tax

The state does not have a state income tax. This is one of the best reasons to live in Florida from a financial point of view. Without a state individual income tax, that means more earnings are kept with the provider rather than paid to the state.

Corporate income tax

For corporations operating in the state, there is a corporate income tax. At this time, the corporate income tax is 5.50%.

State sales tax

Florida also has a state sales tax rate. At the current time, the sales tax rate in Florida is 6%. In addition to this state rate, local cities can also add to it for added sales tax. However, the state caps this at no more than 2% above the sales tax rate. Combined state and local sales tax rates, on average, are 7.01%.

Overall, taxes in Florida are competitive to low compared to other locations across the country. There is no doubt that this can change, especially from one area to the next. The state consistently ranks highly in terms of affordability for both individuals and for business owners.

K-12 Schools in Florida

Like most other states, Florida schools are multifaceted. There are schools that fit just about every demographic in terms of quality and limitations. Each area tends to have several different levels and types of schools available as well. Since Florida is densely populated in most areas, most regions have multiple school options for parents to select from for their children.

Take a look at a few of the highest rated and most well-respected school districts in the state of Florida:

Johns County School DistrictThe St. Johns County School District is a well-respected choice in the state and is considered one of the top three public school systems in the country. Ponte Vedra High School, Allen D Nease Senior High School, and Creekside High School are all highly ranked based on the academic achievements of students.

Seminole County Public Schools

With a total of 18 high schools, Seminole County Public Schools is one of the largest. Of those, seven of those schools have received high rankings from U.S. News & World Report as being the best in the country. That includes schools such as Hagerty High School, Oviedo High School, and Lyman High School.

Okaloosa County Public Schools

Also notable is Okaloosa County Public Schools, of which nearly a third are ranked as some of the best in the country. That includes Niceville Senior High School, Baker School, and Chocotawhatchee Senior High School.

Ransom Everglade School

Ransom Everglade School is one of the highest ranked private schools in Florida. It is specifically noted for its low student-to-teacher ratio as well as the overall quality of education offered.

American Heritage Schools

The Broward Campus of American Heritage Schools is also well recognized. It provides education from K-12. It is a larger student body with over 2,700 students but has a very low 5:1 student teacher ratio making it one of the best options overall.

Best Medical Schools in Florida

The state is home to numerous colleges and universities, including several well-known medical schools. The following are some of the highest ranked medical schools in Florida according to the latest information from US News & World Report.

University of Florida

Noted for its research program, the University of Florida, located in Gainesville, is considered #37 in the country. It has an enrollment of about 585 students full time with in-state, full-time costs of $32,744.

University of Miami (Miller)

The University of Miami at Miller is ranked #43 in the country in medical schools for research. It has an enrollment of 819 full time students and costs $48,663 for full time, in-state students to enroll.

University of South Florida

Another well-respected medical school in the state is the University of South Florida, which has an annual enrollment of about 726 people. It is also one of the more affordable options, with costs for in-state, full-time students of around $29,175.

University of Central Florida

Ranking #87 nationwide, the University of Central Florida is a smaller campus with 487 annual students. The cost for in-state, full time students is $25,491.

Florida Atlantic University (Schmidt)

Florida Atlantic University, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, is a research-based program that is very small, with just 259 students each year. The program’s cost for in-state, full-time students is about $28,111.

Read this: Experts Weigh in on the Future of Healthcare in the Next 30 Years

Areas of Interest in Florida

One of the best reasons to move to Florida to practice medicine is because it offers such a good climate throughout the year. That means you don’t have to worry about snow, and you can spend time outdoors enjoying life fully. Some of the best areas of interest in Florida include the following.

Miami Beach

Miami is a unique location in Florida, located in the very southern portion of the state. It is the hottest area and has one of the most diverse demographics in the region. Noted for its nightlife, restaurants, and highly affluent lifestyle, Miami is a unique location. The Art Deco Historic District is one of the most unique regions of the state as well.

miami-beach doctor salary


Located more in the central portion of the state, Orlando is one of the biggest off-coast areas of the state. Noted for its numerous theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld, it is also a thriving region for financial and corporate industries. Orlando is the entertainment capital of the state and attracts a large number of tourists each year.

orlando doctor salary

Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park may be the exact opposite of what Orlando is. It is a natural preserve that has one of the most diverse and interesting of all types of ecosystems in the country. Spanning more than 1.5 million acres of swamp and marshlands, it is home to everything from panthers and crocodiles to river otters and manatees.


Key West

Key West is a bit of a different region for the state as well. It’s both a city and an island that extends off the tip of Florida. It is noted for its Old Town style and as one of the best areas to retire in the country thanks to the quality of life and the weather here. In addition to that, Key West is perhaps most noted for its tropical gardens and beaches.

keywest doctor salary

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is a popular beach area on the Gulf of Mexico. It is noted for its white sand and its somewhat less demanding lifestyle. The Beach Walk is a popular location with its wide range of amenities.


Medical Malpractice Rates in Florida

Medical malpractice rates in Florida range widely based on location and specialty. Some estimates from MedPli show the following:

Malpractice Insurance Cost By Doctor Type
Type of Doctor Range of Premium Cost
Anesthesiology $19,000 – $38,000
Internal Medicine $17,000 – $34,000
Family Medicine $16,000 – $32,000
Pediatrics $15,000 – $30,000
Surgeon $61,000 – $122,000
Occupational Medicine $11,000 – $22,000
Emergency Medicine $33,000 – $66,000

Related Reading: The Physician’s Guide to Malpractice Insurance

Top Cities to Live in as a Doctor in Florida

There’s no doubt that Florida is very diverse. From the state’s high-end, luxury regions of Miami to the more tame areas of Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville, there are a lot of options here for doctors who are ready to call the state home.

Some of the best places to live in Florida, according to U.S. News & World Report, include the following:

  • Sarasota: The state is consistently ranked first because of its vibrant arts scene, high quality of life, and cost of living.
  • Naples: Known for its location near the Everglades and on the Gulf of Mexico, this city offers a high quality of life for those who want to enjoy the waterfront.
  • Melbourne: Lesser known, it is far more affordable and noted for its more urban lifestyle. Melbourne is also a strong location for professionals and retirees looking for a good quality of life and a lower cost of living.

Any of these cities, along with others such as Jacksonville, Tampa, and Pensacola, could be an ideal choice for doctors looking to move to the warmer weather and the higher quality of life that Florida offers.

Final Thoughts

Practicing medicine in Florida provides a wide range of opportunities for doctors. Without a doubt, there are some areas where doctor salary in Florida is exceptional, depending on the specialty and the area’s overall affordability and cost of living. Making the move to Florida can also be beneficial for those who want to live in an area that offers incredible outdoor amenities, competitively priced real estate, as well as no individual income taxes.

Still deciding where to go? Read our Top 10 Places to Live & Work and consult our Annual Physician Compensation Report to help with your decision.

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