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

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Being a pathologist appears to bring challenges. Pathologists were among the least likely physicians Medscape surveyed to report that they are "very" or "extremely" happy outside of work; less than half (48%) of pathologists described themselves as such. Other physicians with low happiness scores included cardiologists, public health physicians, and oncologists.

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Medscape Pathologist 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, pathologists (34%) were among the most likely to do so. Ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and dermatologists were also among the happiest physicians at work this year.

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Medscape Pathologist 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 42%, pathologists fell near the bottom among them. The highest rates were reported by neurologists, intensivists, ob/gyns, and family physicians.

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Medscape Pathologist 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 pathologists reported burnout (37%) than did their male peers (28%).

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Medscape Pathologist 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 pathologist respondents said they resort to sleep, while somewhat lower percentages isolate themselves from others (44%), play or listen to music (40%), or talk to family or close friends (40%). Although 28% turn to alcohol, far fewer said they use nicotine (9%), prescription drugs (7%), or marijuana (3%).

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Pathologists who reported burnout could select more than one contributing factor. Forty-four percent pointed to too many hours at work, and over one third selected an excess of bureaucratic tasks (36%), lack of control or autonomy (35%), lack of respect from administrators, employers, colleagues, or staff (35%), and insufficient compensation (34%).

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Pathologists, at 29%, landed in the upper half of all respondents who 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 Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Pathologists 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 (19% responded 1 or 2) versus extroverted (11% responded 6 or 7).

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Close to half of pathologists who acknowledged having depression reported that they are less engaged (49%) or more easily exasperated (45%) with staff and peers as a result. Just 18% responded that their depression does not affect their behavior in the workplace.

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Among pathologists who reported depression, nearly two thirds (65%) believe that their depression has no effect on patient care. However, 23% 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 Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Pathologists were asked whether their workplace had a program to reduce stress and burnout, and if so, whether they had used it. Only 18% reported that they had.

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Most pathologists reported that they are married (75%), and 5% said they live with a partner. Among this specialist group, 15% are single, 4% are divorced and not remarried, and less than 1% are widowed (shown on slide as 0% due to rounding).

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

More pathologists reported that they are married to a person who works outside of the healthcare field (57%) than within it (43%). Of that 43%, 16% are married to another physician and 27% are married to a non-physician working in healthcare.

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

When asked whether they have spiritual or religious beliefs, 59% of pathologists responded that they do and 35% said they do not. Seven percent preferred not to answer this question.

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Well over half (58%) of pathologists said they have three or fewer close friends, while 29% 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 Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Less than half (42%) of pathologists surveyed take 3 to 4 weeks of vacation each year, while 28% take even more. Nearly one third (30%), however, take 2 weeks or less.

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty-seven percent of pathologists said they want to lose weight, and 27% want to maintain their current weight. Just under one quarter (24%) reported that they are not trying to control their weight, while 2% would like to gain weight.

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Medscape Pathologist 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 percent of pathologists said they exercise two to three times a week, while one third do so even more often. In contrast, 22% reported that they exercise once a week or less, and 15% said they don't exercise at all.

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Nearly half (48%) of pathologists reported that they have less than one drink per week or do not drink at all. Twenty-two percent said they have five or more drinks each week.

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Medscape Pathologist 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 and Toyota, at 19%, are popular makes among pathologists, as are Subaru (11%), Lexus (10%), and Ford and Mercedes-Benz (8% each).

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Pathologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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