Public health physicians, pathologist and rheumatologists identified as the most introverted physicians, while general surgeons, urologists, and OB/GYNs identified as the most extroverted, according to Medscape's 2018 Physician Lifestyle & Happiness report.
Extroverted, introverted specialties
Among other lifestyle factors, the report, which surveyed over 15,543 physicians across 29 disciplines, found that 38% of respondents said they were an even mix of introverted and extroverted, while 35% said they leaned toward introverted and 28% said they leaned toward extroverted.
The survey found that the most introverted specialties included:
- Public health and preventative medicine specialists (48%);
- Pathologists (45%);
- Rheumatologists (40%);
- Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists (39%); and
- Allergy and immunology specialists (39%).
Meanwhile, the most extroverted specialties tended to be:
- General surgeons (35%);
- Urologists (35%);
- OB/GYNs (34%);
- Gastroenterologists (34%);
- Plastic surgeons (32%); and
- Oncologists (32%)
Happiness outside work
The report also found that 50% of physicians said they were very or extremely happy, while just 19% said they were somewhat, very, or extremely unhappy.
Of all the disciplines surveyed, the happiest physicians outside of work were:
- Allergy & immunology specialists (61%);
- Dermatologists (58%);
- Emergency medicine specialists (58%);
- Ophthalmologists (58%);
- Plastic surgeons (56%); and
- Urologists (56%).
Of all the disciplines surveyed, physicians who said they were unhappiest outside of work included:
- Cardiologists (40%);
- Public health and preventative medicine specialists (41%);
- Oncologists (42%);
- Infectious diseases specialists (44%); and
- Internal medicine specialists (44%).
Weight loss, exercise, and lifestyle
The report also found that nearly half (47%) of physicians said they want to lose weight, while nearly a third (32%) said they are working on maintaining their weight. According to the report, more female physicians (52%) than male physicians (45%) said they were trying to lose weight and more male physicians (34%) than female ones (29%) said they were hoping to maintain their current weight.
Despite physicians' weight management goals, many doctors aren't meeting CDC's recommended 2.5 hours of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. According to the survey, 32% of physicians either exercise once a week or less or don't exercise at all, 23% exercise four to five times a week, and 10% exercise every day.
The survey also polled respondents on several other lifestyle factors, including relationship status (82% are married or living with a partner), number of close friendships (47% reported having between one and three close friends), and spiritual beliefs (73% said they held spiritual or religious beliefs—a significant decline from the 2012 survey, in which 83% said they had such beliefs) (Frellick, Medscape, 1/10; Peckham, Medscape, 1/10).
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