Burnout Might Really Be Depression; How Do Doctors Cope?

Leigh Page


January 17, 2018

In This Article

Physicians' Relationships

Friendships and Socializing

For a busy physician, it can be hard to maintain a wide circle of good friends. In Medscape's Lifestyle & Happiness Report, most respondents said they have three or fewer close friends.

The largest percentage of physicians (47%) said they have one to three close friends. About a third (34%) said they have four to six close friends, while 8% said they have 10 or more close friends. The specialists most likely to say that they have three or fewer close friends were pathologists, intensivists, radiologists, and anesthesiologists.

Meanwhile, Medscape's survey showed that around a third of physicians each identified themselves as introverted (35%), middle (neither introverted nor extroverted; 38%), or extroverted (28%).

Specialists most likely to say that they are introverted were public health physicians, pathologists, and rheumatologists. The most extroverted specialists were surgeons, urologists, ob/gyns, and gastroenterologists.

Marriage and Divorce

More than three quarters of physicians reported that they were married. Specifically, 77% were married, 11% were single, 5% were living with a partner, 5% were divorced and not currently remarried, and 1% were widowed.

Physicians who identified themselves as divorced appeared to be those who were divorced and had not remarried. (Those who were remarried identified themselves as married.) Of note, a 2015 study found that a much higher number had ever been divorced: almost one quarter of physicians.[5]

Meanwhile, almost half of married physicians had spouses in the healthcare field, according to Medscape's report. It showed that 21% were married to another physician, while 26% were married to a nonphysician spouse in the healthcare field. Male physicians were much more likely to have a spouse within healthcare.

To read more about physician lifestyle, happiness, burnout, and depression, see the original reports on Medscape.


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