Doctors are known for working long hours. On the outpatient side, it could be because they want to be accessible. On the inpatient side, it might be because they want to provide continuity. Or, it could be because, as one survey just found, most U.S. physicians are at least as happy at work as they are at home.
Medscape, a division of WebMD that provides medical news and clinical information to doctors, conducted its inaugural Physician Lifestyle Report online survey Jan. 12-17; more than 29,000 physicians in 25 specialties responded. The aim of the survey was to uncover insights to physicians' personal lives and their feelings on their own health, wealth, happiness and political views.
On a 1-to-5 scale, doctors seem to be a happy bunch—some even very happy, as about one-third of the physicians responding (both men and women) rated their happiness outside of medicine at a 5. Four in 10 gave their outside-of-work happiness a 4 rating. The average rating was 3.96. Half of physicians said their happiness is about the same at work as it is at home. Four percent said they are happier at work.
The happiest physicians by far were rheumatologists, who averaged a 4.09 level of outside-of-work happiness. There was a three-way tie for least happy among internists, gastroenterologists and neurologists—though with an average happiness rate of 3.88, you can't really call them "sad."