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

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Rheumatologists were among the most likely physicians Medscape surveyed to report that they are “very” or “extremely” happy outside of work; 54% of rheumatologists described themselves as such. Other physicians with high happiness scores included allergists, dermatologists, emergency medicine physicians, and ophthalmologists.

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Medscape Rheumatologist 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, rheumatologists (27%) were slightly above the middle of those more likely to do so. Ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pathologists, were the happiest physicians at work this year.

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Medscape Rheumatologist 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%, rheumatologists fell somewhat below the middle among them. The highest rates were reported by neurologists, intensivists, ob/gyns, family physicians, and internists.

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Medscape Rheumatologist 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 rheumatologists reported burnout (47%) than did their male peers (31%).

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Medscape Rheumatologist 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. More than half (55%) of rheumatologist respondents said they exercise, while somewhat lower percentages play or listen to music (42%) or talk to family or close friends (41%). Although 12% turn to alcohol, just 5% said they resort to prescription drugs or nicotine, and none said they use marijuana.

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Rheumatologists 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 (38%) or increasing computerization (37%).

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Rheumatologists, at 22%, were in the lower half of respondents most likely 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 Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Rheumatologists 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 (12% responded 1 or 2) than extroverted (8% responded 6 or 7).

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Rheumatologists 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 Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Most rheumatologists reported that they are married (75%), and 4% said they live with a partner. Among this specialist group, 10% are single, 6% are divorced and not remarried, and 1% are widowed.

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

More rheumatologists reported that they are married to a person in the healthcare field (53%) than to someone who works outside of it (46%). Of the 53%, 29% are married to another physician and 24% are married to a non-physician working in healthcare.

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

When asked whether they have spiritual or religious beliefs, 62% of rheumatologists responded that they do and 29% said they do not. Ten percent preferred not to answer this question.

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Almost half (46%) of rheumatologists said they have three or fewer close friends, while nearly as many (45%) 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 Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Well over half (56%) of rheumatologists surveyed take 3 to 4 weeks of vacation each year, while 14% take even more. Nearly a third (30%), however, take 2 weeks or less.

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Forty-three percent of rheumatologists said they want to lose weight, and 31% want to maintain their current weight. Only 21% reported that they are not trying to control their weight, while 4% would like to gain weight.

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Medscape Rheumatologist 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. Nearly one third (31%) of rheumatologists said they exercise two to three times a week, while 37% do so even more often. In contrast, 18% reported that they exercise once a week or less, and 14% said they don’t exercise at all.

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

Over half (55%) of rheumatologists reported that they have less than one drink per week or do not drink at all, while 13% said they have five or more drinks each week.

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Medscape Rheumatologist 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. The most popular makes among rheumatologists were Toyota (21%), Honda (16%), and Audi, Subaru, and Acura (each at 10%).

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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Medscape Rheumatologist Lifestyle Report 2018: Personal Happiness vs Work Burnout

Sarah Grisham | January 24, 2018 | Contributor Information

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