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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Burnout continues to be a pervasive issue among physicians. This part of Medscape's annual Physician Lifestyle Report focuses on their responses to our survey questions about burnout and depression. How prevalent are these factors, and how do they affect physicians' lives? More than 15,000 physicians from 29 specialties responded.

Some totals in this presentation do not equal 100% due to rounding.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Emergency medicine (EM) physicians were among the most likely physicians Medscape surveyed to report that they are "very" or "extremely" happy outside of work; 58% of EM physicians described themselves as such. Other specialist groups with high happiness scores included allergists and dermatologists.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Fairly small percentages of all specialist groups described themselves as "very" or "extremely" happy at work, and slightly more than one quarter of EM physicians (26%) described themselves in this way. Three generalist groups also scored low in this area: internists, intensivists, and family physicians. Ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, pathologists, and dermatologists were among the happiest physicians this year.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty-six percent of all physicians and 48% of EM physicians surveyed said they are either burned out, depressed, or both. The highest rates were reported by neurologists, intensivists, ob/gyns, and family physicians.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

In this year's report, as in prior years', a higher percentage of female EM physicians reported burnout (54%) than did their male peers (42%).

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Survey participants could choose multiple responses to the question of how they personally cope with burnout. More than half (54%) of EM physician respondents said they exercise, while somewhat lower percentages resort to sleep (46%) or talk to family or close friends (43%). Although over one third (35%) turn to alcohol, very few (4% or less) said they use nicotine, marijuana, or prescription drugs.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

EM physicians who reported burnout could select more than one contributing factor. More than half (52%) pointed to an excess of bureaucratic tasks, and 40% selected lack of respect from patients. Over one quarter cited lack of respect from administrators, employers, colleagues, or staff (28%), increasing computerization (27%), and too many hours spent at work (26%).

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

About a quarter of EM physicians reported that they would seek professional help for burnout, depression, or both. Not surprisingly, psychiatrists were among those most likely to respond affirmatively, along with plastic surgeons, public health physicians, and pediatricians.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

EM physicians were asked to grade their own introversion or extroversion on a scale of 1 (very introverted) to 7 (very extroverted). A slightly lower percentage identified as introverted (11% responded 1 or 2) than extroverted (14% responded 6 or 7).

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty-five percent of EM physicians who reported that they have depression acknowledged that it leads them to be more easily exasperated by staff and peers, and 44% admitted to expressing frustration in front of them. Slightly lower percentages said they are less engaged (39%) or less friendly (35%) with staff and peers as a result. One quarter responded that their depression has no such effect.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Among EM physicians who reported depression, just 27% believe that their depression has no effect on patient care. More than half (51%) acknowledged that because of their depression, they are more easily exasperated by patients, and 44% felt less friendly with patients. Thirteen percent admitted that their depression leads to errors they wouldn't otherwise make, and 6% said they make errors that could harm patients.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

EM physicians were asked whether their workplace had a program to reduce stress and burnout, and if so, whether they had used it. Only 24% reported that they had.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Most EM physicians reported that they are married (78%), and 6% said they live with a partner. Among this specialist group, 10% are single, 1% are widowed, and 5% are divorced and not remarried.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

More EM physicians reported that they are married to a person who works outside of the healthcare field (57%) than to someone within it (43%). Of that 43%, 14% are married to another physician and 29% are married to a non-physician working in healthcare.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

When asked whether they have spiritual or religious beliefs, 62% of EM physicians responded that they do and 32% said they do not. Five percent preferred not to answer this question.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Just over half (53%) of EM physicians said they have three or fewer close friends, while a little more than one third (34%) said they have four to six. A gregarious 14% reported that they have seven or more close friends in their circle.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty-five percent of EM physicians surveyed take 3 to 4 weeks of vacation each year, while 20% take more. Well over a third (36%) take 2 weeks or less.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty-eight percent of EM physicians said they want to lose weight and 29% want to maintain their current weight. Twenty-two percent reported that they are not trying to control their weight, while 1% would like to gain weight.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion[1] recommends 2.5 hours of moderate exercise or an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Over one third of EM physicians said they exercise two to three times a week (37%) or more often (34%). In contrast, 19% reported that they exercise once a week or less, and just 9% said they don't exercise at all.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty percent of EM physicians reported that they have less than one drink per week or do not drink at all, while 26% said they have five or more drinks each week.

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

This year, physicians were asked what kind of car they drive; they could name as many as applied. Toyota, at 22%, was the most popular make among EM physicians. Also popular were Honda (16%) and Ford and BMW (both at 10%).

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Emergency Medicine Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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