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

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Being an oncologist appears to bring challenges. Oncologists were among the least likely physicians Medscape surveyed to report that they are "very" or "extremely" happy outside of work, with only 42% describing themselves as such. Other groups with low happiness scores included cardiologists and public health physicians.

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Medscape Oncologist 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, oncologists (28%) were in the upper half of those who did so. Ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, pathologists, and dermatologists were among the happiest physicians at work this year.

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Medscape Oncologist 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 45%, oncologists fell around the middle among them. The highest rates were reported by neurologists, intensivists, ob/gyns, and family physicians.

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Medscape Oncologist 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 oncologists reported burnout (48%) than did their male peers (35%).

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Medscape Oncologist 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 oncologist respondents said they exercise, while somewhat lower percentages talk to family or close friends (44%) or sleep (43%). Although 22% turn to alcohol, very few (4% or less) said they use prescription drugs, nicotine, or marijuana.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Oncologists who reported burnout could select more than one contributing factor. Two thirds pointed to an excess of bureaucratic tasks, and over one third selected too many hours at work (39%). Just over a quarter (27%) cited lack of control and autonomy.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Oncologists, at 22%, were in the lower half of all respondents in reporting 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 Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Oncologists were asked to grade their own introversion or extroversion on a scale of 1 (very introverted) to 7 (very extroverted). Respondents were evenly split between those who identified as introverted (responded 1 or 2) and extroverted (responded 6 or 7), with 17% on both sides of the divide.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Close to half (46%) of oncologists who acknowledged having depression reported that they are less engaged with staff and peers as a result, and 34% say they tend to arrive late to work. Just 24% responded that their depression does not affect their behavior in the workplace.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Among oncologists who reported depression, 34% believe that their depression has no effect on their interactions with patients. However, an equal percentage acknowledged that because of their depression, they feel less engaged with patients, and 31% said they are less motivated to be careful with patient-related paperwork and filling out the EHR. Sixteen percent admitted that their depression leads to errors they wouldn't otherwise make, and 9% said they make errors that could harm patients.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Oncologists 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 Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Most oncologists reported that they are married (77%), and 7% said they live with a partner. Among this group, 11% are single, 4% are divorced and not remarried, and none are widowed.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

More oncologists reported that they are married to a person who works in the healthcare field (53%) than to someone who does not (48%). Of the 53%, 34% are married to another physician and 19% are married to a non-physician working in healthcare.

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Medscape Oncologist 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 oncologists responded that they do and 29% said they do not. Seven percent preferred not to answer this question.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Slightly more than half (51%) of oncologists said they have three or fewer close friends, while just under one third (29%) said they have four to six. A gregarious 19% reported that they have seven or more close friends in their circle.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Well over half (58%) of oncologists surveyed take 3 to 4 weeks of vacation each year, while 12% take even more. Thirty percent, however, take 2 weeks or less.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty-four percent of oncologists said they want to lose weight, and 35% 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 Oncologist 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. Forty-three percent of oncologists said they exercise two to three times a week, while 29% do so even more often. In contrast, 21% reported that they exercise once a week or less, and just 8% said they don't exercise at all.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

More than half (53%) of oncologists reported that they have less than one drink per week or do not drink at all. Fifteen percent said they have five or more drinks each week.

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Medscape Oncologist 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 oncologists. Honda (17%), BMW (12%), and Lexus (9%) were also popular.

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Oncologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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