Burnout Might Really Be Depression; How Do Doctors Cope?

Leigh Page


January 17, 2018

In This Article

Physicians' Personal Lives

Spiritual or Religious Beliefs

Medscape asked physicians about their personal belief system. Almost three quarters (73%) of physicians said they had spiritual or religious beliefs while 27% did not. Of those who held spiritual beliefs, more than three quarters (76%) said it helped them to cope with stress.

The 2018 Medscape numbers are consistent with those of a recently published survey in Journal of Religion and Health that broke down the numbers a little more. Researchers found that 52.5% of physicians were religious and 24.8% were spiritual, while 12.4% were agnostic and 11.6% were atheist.[4]

Weight, Exercise, and Alcohol Consumption 

Nearly half (47%) of physicians said they wanted to lose weight, and almost one third (32%) said they were trying to maintain their weight. More women wanted to lose weight than men (52% vs 45%, respectively).

More than one third of respondents (35%) said they exercised two to three times a week, 33% said they exercised more than two to three times a week, and 21% exercised once a week or less. Eleven percent said they didn't exercise at all.

Meanwhile, almost one quarter (22%) of respondents said they didn't drink any alcoholic beverages, while more than one quarter (27%) said they had up to one drink a week, and 8% said they had seven or more drinks a week.

Vacations and Cars

The largest percentage of physicians (49%) said they took at least 3-4 weeks of vacation each year. Eighteen percent took 5 or more weeks per year, while 6% took less than 1 week per year.

Employed physicians took slightly more vacation time than self-employed physicians. While 63% of self-employed physicians said they took 3 or more weeks off each year, 69% of employed physicians said they did so.

Toyota (21%) was by far the most popular car among doctors, followed by Honda (16%), BMW (9%), Lexus (8%), and Mercedes-Benz (8%). While primary care physicians surpassed specialists in choosing Toyota and Honda, specialists surpassed primary care physicians in choosing BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz.


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