The Political Structure of Different U.S. States, And Why You SHOULD Care as a Doctor!

You might be wondering why a company dedicated to helping doctors move to the U.S. would care to write a whole blog post about the politics of a country - after all, how does this affect your career as a doctor? Well, if you're hoping to build your future life in America, it is certainly worth getting to know how the politics here work, as it may influence where you decide you want to settle down and live long-term!

Whether you choose to apply for or rank residency programs in different states may be massively affected by factors such as:

  • does this state have higher taxes?
  • is there a lot of gun ownership in this state?
  • what are the religious/cultural values of people living in this state?
  • what is this state's stance on abortion permissibility?

Some people may not feel strongly about any of the above, but our job at LibertyMedics is to get you equipped and ready to make the best possible decision about your future medical career! So without further ado, let's dive into the basics of politics in the USA.

The Basics

The United States has a 'federal' system of government, meaning that there is a central government that works alongside smaller divisions of government. The three branches of the federal government are the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches.

The Legislative branch is responsible for creating laws. This branch is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The number of representatives each state has in the House is based on the state's population. Every state has two senators.

The Executive branch is responsible for carrying out the laws. This branch is made up of the President, the Vice President, and the Cabinet. The President is the head of state and the head of the government. The Vice President is the head of the Senate. The Cabinet is made up of the President's closest advisers.

The Judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the laws. This branch is made up of the Supreme Court and lower courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. The nine justices on the court are responsible for hearing cases that involve the Constitution.

The Political Parties

Since the founding of the United States, there have been two main political parties. These parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, have dominated the American political landscape for over 150 years.

Today, the Democratic Party is considered to be the more progressive of the two major parties. The party's platform focuses on issues like social and economic justice, environmental protection, and civil rights. The Democratic Party is also seen as being more supportive of government intervention in the economy.

The Republican Party, on the other hand, is considered to be more conservative. The party's platform focuses on issues like limited government, personal responsibility, and free markets. The Republican Party is also seen as being more supportive of a strong national defense.While the two major parties have different ideologies, they both play a vital role in the American political system. Through the process of debate and compromise, the two parties help to ensure that the government works for the benefit of all Americans.

What are the "Progressive" States?

There are many progressive states in the United States. Some of these states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

These states have many progressive policies in place. For example, many of these states have legalized marijuana, have progressive tax policies, and have implemented policies to combat climate change. California has been a leader in many progressive policies. They were the first state to legalize medical marijuana and have recently legalized recreational marijuana. They have also implemented a progressive tax policy, which has helped to fund many social programs. Colorado has also been a leader in progressive policies. They were the first state to legalize recreational marijuana and have implemented many policies to combat climate change. Connecticut has implemented many progressive policies, including a progressive tax policy and policies to combat climate change. Delaware has implemented a progressive tax policy and has many policies in place to protect the environment. Hawaii has implemented many policies to combat climate change and has a progressive tax policy. Illinois has a progressive tax policy and has implemented many policies to protect the environment.

If you're someone who considers themselves to be "progressive" in their ideology, these might be states you choose to prioritize when applying for programs.

However, it's important to keep in mind that progressive states do tend to have overall higher taxation rates due to their belief in government public spending rather than pure individual budgeting. This means you should be prepared to generally make less money as a doctor working in a 'liberal' state as compared to a 'conservative' one.

What Are the "Conservative" States?

There are many conservative states in the United States. Here are just a few of them:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming

These states tend to be more rural and have a strong Christian presence. They tend to be more supportive of traditional values and conservative policies.

One of the most important issues for conservatives is the protection of religious freedom. In many states, conservatives have fought for and passed laws that protect the right of people to practice their religion without interference from the government. However, for a lot of people who are secular, living in a state with such protections for religious practice can sometimes feel alien, and coercive, so it's important for prospective doctors looking to work in these states to be aware of this.

Another important issue for conservatives is the protection of traditional values. Many conservatives believe that the family is the foundation of society and that traditional values such as marriage and parenting should be promoted and protected. Once again, however, this traditional view on the family unit may be at odds with some people's personal beliefs towards non-traditional family units or gender identities, so it's important to know this before committing to live in one of these states for many years!

Conservatives also tend to be strong proponents of limited government. They believe that the government should not be involved in the lives of citizens except to protect their rights and to provide for the common defense.

Finally, conservatives tend to be supportive of free-market capitalism. They believe that the free market is the best way to promote economic growth and opportunity.

These values might be a perfect fit for you, but for some people, the lack of a government 'safety net', and the freedom towards things like gun ownership, can be a huge red flag. We just want to make you aware of all of these issues in advance so you can make the best decision about where you might want to settle as a doctor long-term!


There is no 'right' or 'wrong' answer about what type of state you should want to live in, but it's important to understand that each state in the U.S. is basically like a different country. You should take very seriously how well the politics and culture of a certain state fit your world view before deciding to rank a program highly there, as you may end up settling there with your family for decades!

If you enjoyed this deep dive and want to find out more about the process of applying to residency in the U.S., check out our flagship 'How To Make It In America' course which talks you through the ENTIRE process of how to match successfully, from start to finish!

How To Make It In America - Video Course
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