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Medscape Intensivist 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 Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Being an intensivist appears to bring challenges. Intensivists ranked below the middle among physicians Medscape surveyed in reporting that they are "very" or "extremely" happy outside of work; 48% of intensivists described themselves as such. Other specialties with low happiness scores included cardiologists, public health physicians, and oncologists.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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

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Medscape Intensivist 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 54%, intensivists had one of the highest rates among all specialists. High rates were also reported by neurologists, ob/gyns, and family physicians.

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Medscape Intensivist 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 lower percentage of female intensivists reported burnout (45%) than did their male peers (50%).

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Medscape Intensivist 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. Nearly half (47%) of intensivist respondents said they resort to sleep, while slightly lower percentages tend to isolate themselves from others or exercise (43% each). Although 19% turn to alcohol and 7% to nicotine, very few (1% or less) said they use marijuana or prescription drugs.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Intensivists who reported burnout could select more than one contributing factor. Nearly half (49%) selected too many hours at work, and 45% pointed to an excess of bureaucratic tasks. Twenty-nine percent attributed their burnout to insufficient compensation, and just over one quarter (27%) cited lack of respect from administrators or employers.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Intensivists, at 29%, were among the more likely of all respondents to report 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 Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Intensivists were asked to grade their own introversion or extroversion on a scale of 1 (very introverted) to 7 (very extroverted). A higher percentage identified as introverted (13% responded 1 or 2) versus extroverted (11% responded 6 or 7).

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Similar percentages of intensivists who acknowledged having depression reported that they are more easily exasperated (38%) or less engaged (37%) with staff and peers as a result. Just 22% responded that their depression has no effect on these relationships.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Among intensivists who reported depression, just over half (51%) believe that their depression has no effect on patient care. However, around one quarter acknowledged that because of their depression, they are less engaged with patients (27%) or less friendly with them (24%). Eight percent admitted that their depression leads to errors they wouldn't otherwise make, and 3% said they make errors that could harm patients.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Intensivists were asked whether their workplace had a program to reduce stress and burnout, and if so, whether they had used it. Only 12% reported that they had.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Most intensivists reported that they are married (79%), and 7% said they live with a partner. Among this specialist group, 6% are either divorced and not remarried or are single, and 1% are widowed.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

A slightly higher percentage of intensivists reported that they are married to a person in the healthcare field (52%) than to someone outside of it (48%). Of the 52%, 28% are married to another physician and 24% are married to a non-physician working in healthcare.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

When asked whether they have spiritual or religious beliefs, 64% of intensivists responded that they do and 28% said they do not. Eight percent preferred not to answer this question.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Over half (56%) of intensivists said they have three or fewer close friends, while one third said they have four to six. A gregarious 11% reported that they have seven or more close friends in their circle.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Nearly half (45%) of intensivists surveyed take 3 to 4 weeks of vacation each year, while 16% take even more. Well over one third (39%) take 2 weeks or less.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

One half of intensivists said they want to lose weight, and about one quarter (26%) 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 Intensivist 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 about 2.5 hours of moderate exercise or an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Over one third (39%) of intensivists said they exercise two to three times a week, while 28% do so even more often. In contrast, 22% reported that they exercise once a week or less, and 12% said they don't exercise at all.

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

More than half (54%) of intensivists reported that they have less than one drink per week or do not drink at all. Only 21% said they have five or more drinks each week.

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Medscape Intensivist 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. Honda, at 17%, was the most popular make among intensivists, followed by Toyota (15%), BMW (14%), and Mercedes-Benz (13%).

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Intensivist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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