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

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Being an internist appears to bring challenges. Internists were among the least likely physicians Medscape surveyed to report that they are "very" or "extremely" happy outside of work; 44% of internists described themselves as such. Other groups with low happiness scores included cardiologists, public health physicians, and oncologists.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

While fairly small percentages of all groups described themselves as "very" or "extremely" happy at work, internists (21%) were among the least likely to do so. Two other generalist groups also scored low in this area: intensivists and family physicians. Ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, pathologists, and dermatologists were among the happiest physicians this year.

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Medscape Internist 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%, internists were among physicians with the highest rates, along with neurologists, intensivists, ob/gyns, and family physicians.

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Medscape Internist 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 internists reported burnout (53%) than did their male peers (41%).

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Medscape Internist 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. Half of internist respondents said they exercise, while somewhat lower percentages talk to family or close friends (45%) or sleep (43%). Although 17% turn to alcohol, very few (3% or less) said they use prescription drugs, nicotine, or marijuana.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Internists who reported burnout could select more than one contributing factor. Nearly two thirds (62%) pointed to an excess of bureaucratic tasks, and 40% selected too many hours at work. Just under one quarter (24%) cited insufficient compensation.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Internists, at 24%, landed in about the middle this year among 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 Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

More than a third of internists who acknowledged having depression reported that they are less engaged (42%), more easily exasperated (38%), or less friendly (37%) with staff and peers as a result, and an additional 37% admitted that they express their frustration around staff and peers. Just under one quarter (24%) asserted that their depression has no effect.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Among internists who reported depression, 35% believe that their depression has no effect on patient care. However, similar percentages acknowledged that because of their depression, they are less friendly with (36%), more easily exasperated by (35%), or less engaged with (33%) patients. Fourteen percent admitted that their depression leads to errors they wouldn't otherwise make, and 5% said they make errors that could harm patients.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Internists were asked whether their workplace had a program to reduce stress and burnout, and if so, whether they had used it. Only 26% reported that they had.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Most internists reported that they are married (75%), and 4% said they live with a partner. Among this generalist group, 14% are single, 4% are divorced and not remarried, and 1% are widowed.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

A slightly higher percentage of internists reported that they are married to a person who works outside the healthcare field (51%) than within it (49%). That 49% is closely divided between internists married to another physician (24%) and those married to a non-physician who works in healthcare (25%).

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

When asked whether they have spiritual or religious beliefs, 71% of internists responded that they do and 22% said they do not. Seven percent preferred not to answer this question.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Over half (52%) of internists said they have three or fewer close friends, while just over one third (35%) said they have four to six. A gregarious 13% reported that they have seven or more close friends in their circle.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Half of internists surveyed take 3 to 4 weeks of vacation each year, while 23% take even more. More than a quarter (27%) take 2 weeks or less.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty-seven percent of internists said they want to lose weight, and about one third (32%) want to maintain their current weight. Only 18% reported that they are not trying to control their weight, while 3% would like to gain weight.

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Medscape Internist 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. Just over one third (34%) of internists said they exercise two to three times a week, while 29% do so even more often. In contrast, just one quarter reported that they exercise once a week or less, and 13% said they don't exercise at all.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Well over half (58%) of internists reported that they have less than one drink per week or do not drink at all. Thirteen percent said they have five or more drinks each week.

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Medscape Internist 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 internists. Honda (18%), Lexus and Mercedes-Benz (8%), and BMW (7%) were also popular.

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Internist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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