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Medscape Family 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 Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Family physicians fell near the middle among physicians Medscape surveyed in reporting that they are "very" or "extremely" happy outside of work; fifty-one percent of family physicians described themselves as such.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

While fairly small percentages of all physician groups described themselves as "very" or "extremely" happy at work, family physicians (22%) were among the least likely to do so. Two other generalist groups also scored low in this area: internists and intensivists. Ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, pathologists, and dermatologists were among the happiest.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty-six percent of all physicians surveyed said they are either burned out, depressed, or both. At 50%, family physicians were near the top among all physician groups. High rates were also reported by neurologists, intensivists, and ob/gyns.

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Medscape Family 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 family physicians reported burnout (52%) than did their male peers (42%).

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Medscape Family 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. Over half of family physician respondents said they exercise (52%) or talk to family or close friends (51%). Although 23% turn to alcohol, very few (3% or less) said they use prescription drugs, nicotine, or marijuana.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Family physicians who reported burnout could select more than one contributing factor. Two thirds pointed to an excess of bureaucratic tasks, and well over a third (39%) selected too many hours at work. Just over one quarter (28%) cited increasing computerization.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Family physicians, at 31%, were among those who were most likely to report that they would seek professional help for burnout, depression, or both. Not surprisingly, psychiatrists were also among those most likely to respond affirmatively, along with plastic surgeons, public health physicians, and pediatricians.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Family physicians were asked to grade their own introversion or extroversion on a scale of 1 (very introverted) to 7 (very extroverted). A somewhat higher percentage identified as introverted (16% responded 1 or 2) than extroverted (13% responded 6 or 7).

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Family physicians who acknowledged having depression most often reported that they are less engaged with (45%), express frustration in front of (44%), or are more easily exasperated with (43%) staff and peers as a result. Nineteen percent responded that their depression has no such effect.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Among family physicians who reported depression, 35% believe that their depression has no effect on patient care. However, 44% of these physicians are more easily exasperated by and 39% are less engaged with patients. Sixteen 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 Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Family 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 Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Most family physicians reported that they are married (76%), and 5% said they live with a partner. Among this primary care group, 11% are single, 6% are divorced and not remarried, and 1% are widowed.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

More family physicians reported that they are married to a person who works outside of the healthcare field (59%) than to someone within it (41%). Of that 41%, 15% are married to another physician and 26% are married to a non-physician working in healthcare.

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Medscape Family 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, 74% of family physicians responded that they do and 21% said they do not. Five percent preferred not to answer this question.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Over half (53%) of family physicians said they have three or fewer close friends, while one third (33%) 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 Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty-eight percent of family physicians surveyed take 3 to 4 weeks of vacation each year, while 13% take even more. Thirty-nine percent take 2 weeks or less.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Fifty-one percent of family physicians said they want to lose weight, and just under one third (31%) want to maintain their current weight. Only 18% reported that they are not trying to control their weight, while 1% would like to gain weight.

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Medscape Family 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. Thirty-three percent of family physicians said they exercise two to three times a week, while 37% do so even more often. In contrast, 19% reported that they exercise once a week or less, and 11% don't exercise at all.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Over half (52%) of family physicians reported that they have less than one drink per week or do not drink at all. Only 18% said they have five or more drinks each week.

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Medscape Family 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 23%, was the most popular make among family physicians. Almost one fifth (17%) named Honda, and 10% named Ford.

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Family Physician Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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