Which Physicians are Happiest Outside of Work?

September 6th, 2013 2 Min read Which Physicians are Happiest Outside of Work? Blog
In 2012, Medscape surveyed nearly 300,000 physicians to learn more about their lives outside of medicine — including pastimes, annual vacations, marital status, religious beliefs, and social media usage. The Happiest Doctors The report began with a simple question, “How happy are you with your life outside of work?” The average score for all U.S. physicians was 3.96 on a five-point scale, with 1 being the least happy and 5 representing the happiest. Here’s how the different specialties scored their happiness:
  • Rheumatology – 4.09
  • Dermatology – 4.05
  • Urology – 4.04
  • Ophthalmology – 4.03
  • Emergency Medicine – 4.01
  • Pediatrics – 4.00
  • Anesthesiology – 4.00
  • Psychiatry and Mental Health – 3.99
  • Radiology – 3.99
  • Family Medicine – 3.97
  • HIV/ID – 3.97
  • Orthopedics – 3.96
  • OB-GYN and Women’s Health – 3.96
  • Pulmonary Medicine – 3.95
  • Pathology – 3.93
  • Cardiology – 3.92
  • Critical Care – 3.90
  • Nephrology – 3.90
  • Diabetes and Endocrinology – 3.90
  • Plastic Surgery – 3.89
  • General Surgery – 3.89
  • Oncology – 3.89
  • Internal Medicine – 3.88
  • Gastroenterology – 3.88
  • Neurology – 3.88
Favorite Physician Pastimes Both male and female physicians rated their top five pastimes in the same order: exercise/physical activity; reading; travel; cultural events; and food and wine. While both men and women listed “surfing the web” as a top activity, women spent more internet time on social media. Doctors and Vacation Time The average American receives 13 days of paid vacation each year. About half of all doctors take 2-4 weeks off each year. Anesthesiologists and radiologists take even more time off. Nearly half of these doctors use more than four weeks of vacation time. Marriage and Happiness Doctors are far more likely to be married than other Americans. More than 85 percent of male doctors and 71 percent of female doctors are married; only about half of the general adult population in the U.S. is married. Doctors in a marital relationship (whether married or remarried) report a higher level of happiness than those who are not. Religion and Spirituality In 2008, 88 percent of Americans said they believe in God or a universal spirit, according to the Pew Forum. The number was only slightly lower for physicians — 83 percent of physicians identified themselves as believers, with just over 40 percent reporting they actively practice their faith; 17 percent of doctors reported having no belief system. Social Media Use The older the physician, the less likely he or she is to use social media. Nearly 92 percent of doctors under age 30 use social media, compared to less than 60 percent of doctors in the 61-70 age category. All age categories spend the most time on Facebook, followed in order by YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. View the 2012 Medscape Physician Lifestyle Report