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Study explores whether higher divorce rate among MDs is a myth

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2015 | Uncategorized

Becoming a physician undoubtedly grants a certain amount of professional satisfaction and financial security. However, like any profession, it is certainly not without its downsides, as the reality for many physicians is packed days, long hours and, of course, mountains of paperwork.

While this can prove to be a professional challenge, it can also prove to be something of a personal challenge too, as the stress of the average workday can put undue stress of a marriage. Indeed, the prevailing view is that physicians have much higher rates of divorce than other professions.

Is this really the case?

Consider a recently published, first-of-its-kind study in the medical journal The BMJ examining data from the American Community Survey, the ongoing statistical survey run by the U.S. Census Bureau that includes comprehensive information about divorce.

Here, the researchers compared and contrasted the divorce rates found in a rather large data pool consisting of roughly 250,000 physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, health-care executives, 59,000 attorneys and 6.3 million non-health-care professionals.

After adjusting for various factors, the researchers found that physicians had the second lowest divorce rate among the professions studied, trailing only pharmacists.

Breaking the numbers down, the following divorce rates were assigned to each profession:

  • 23 percent for pharmacists
  • 24 percent for physicians
  • 25 percent for dentists
  • 27 percent for attorneys
  • 31 percent for health-care executives
  • 33 percent for nurses
  • 35 percent for non-health-care professionals

As encouraging as these figures should be to both practicing and aspiring physicians, it should be noted that the study also determined that female physicians had noticeably higher divorce rates that male physicians. The researchers theorized that this might have something to do with female physicians having to make more so-called work-life balance choices.

If you would like to learn more about divorce or divorce-related issues, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

Source: The Washington Post, “Divorce among doctors isn’t as common as you think, study finds,” Elahe Izadi, Feb. 19, 2015


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