Dr. Anupam Jena and Dr. Dan Ly, the senior authors of a study investigating the divorce rate among doctors, discovered that physicians surprisingly have one of the lowest rates of divorce among health care professionals. Dr. Jena is a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor at Havard Medical School in Boston. Dr. Ly is a medical resident at the hospital.
Many believe that doctors are more likely to divorce because of their long work hours and stress. However, Dr. Jena’s study should provide reassurance to those individuals who are considering entering the medical field.
The study analyzed the results of surveys of more than 40,000 doctors and 200,000 nurses, pharmacists, dentists and health care executives, conducted between 2008 and 2013. The results revealed the following divorce rates:
- 23% pharmacists
- 24% physicians
- 25% dentists
- 31% health care executives
- 33% nurses
Of the individuals surveyed outside of the medical field, 35% of them had been divorced.
Interestingly, the researchers discovered that female doctors were more likely to be divorced than men of a similar age. Additionally, the female physicians that worked more than 40 hours per week were more likely to be divorced than those who worked fewer hours, but the reverse was true for the male physicians. Dr. Ly explained in a news release, “We believe that the higher incidence of divorce among female physicians stems from the greater tradeoffs they are forced to make to achieve work/life balance.”
In addition to Jena and Ly, Seth Seabury, PhD, of the University of Southern California is a co-author of the report.