Profiles in Happiness: Which Physicians Enjoy Life Most?

Carol Peckham

Disclosures

March 22, 2012

In This Article

Where Do Most Physicians Lean on the Political Spectrum?

A Rasmussen Report[9] in May 2011 reported that 29% of American voters characterize themselves as both fiscal and social conservatives, and only 10% said that they are liberal in both areas. In the Medscape poll, physicians seem to be slightly more extreme on either side. When asked about their political leanings, approximately 37% of male physicians and 25.5% of women defined themselves as being conservative both socially and fiscally. Only 18.4% of male physicians but 27.5% of female physicians described their views as being liberal in both areas. When broken down, the great majority of physicians are fiscally conservative (77% of men and 68.9% of women), regardless of their social leanings. Women tended to be more liberal both socially (66.8%) and fiscally (31.1%) than their male peers (58.6% and 23%, respectively).

When looking at political biases by specialty, the most conservative physicians (reporting themselves as conservative fiscally and socially) tended to be in the operating room: plastic surgeons (82.2%), orthopaedists (82%), anesthesiologists (80%), urologists (79.4%), ophthalmologists (77.6%), and general surgeons (76.5%). The most liberal physicians (both socially and fiscally) were infectious disease physicians (74.4%), psychiatrists (72.1%), intensivists (67.7%), neurologists (64.1%), and oncologists (63.5%) (see Table 3).

Table 3. Physicians' Political Leaning

Specialty Fiscally
Conservative
Socially
Liberal
Anesthesiology 80.29% 51.17%
Cardiology 75.33% 54.20%
Critical Care 64.58% 67.71%
Dermatology 73.82% 59.45%
Diabetes & Endocrinology 63.33% 62.22%
Emergency Medicine 76.10% 57.57%
Family Medicine 69.22% 52.53%
Gastroenterology 71.88% 56.46%
General Surgery 76.54% 52.19%
HIV/ID 51.05% 74.48%
Internal Medicine 63.19% 58.39%
Nephrology 64.04% 62.15%
Neurology 61.78% 64.15%
Ob/Gyn & Women's Health 71.80% 58.73%
Oncology 66.31% 63.52%
Ophthalmology 77.62% 56.03%
Orthopaedics 82.01% 47.83%
Other (please specify) 70.48% 57.98%
Pathology 69.22% 58.24%
Pediatrics 60.97% 62.28%
Plastic Surgery 82.21% 53.74%
Psychiatry & Mental Health 55.37% 72.16%
Pulmonary Medicine 66.16% 57.93%
Radiology 76.12% 57.84%
Rheumatology 68.69% 57.48%
Urology 79.47% 54.18%

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