Best Physician Specialties for Work-Life Balance


Like members of every other profession, physicians are not immune to bad days at work caused by demanding employers, frustrating colleagues, and aggravating administrative requirements. That doesn’t mean, however, that there’s little happiness to be found among physicians. In fact, a recent study identified some very happy doctors — and the fields in which they work.

                                      Happy Physicians 

Physicians reporting the highest rate of happiness identified as working within the following areas:

  1. Rheumatology (65%)
  2. Otolaryngology (60%)
  3. Diabetes and endocrinology (59%)
  4. Pediatrics (58%)
  5. Surgery, general (57%)
  6. Critical care (57%)
  7. Emergency medicine (57%)
  8. Ophthalmology (56%)
  9. Urology (55%)
  10. Nephrology (55%)

                           Happy Physician Marriages

Physicians reporting the happiest marriages, meanwhile, added some different fields to the mix.

  1. Otolaryngology (67%)
  2. Plastic surgery (64%)
  3. Urology (64%)
  4. Nephrology, rheumatology (60%)
  5. Pulmonary medicine (59%)
  6. Neurology (59%)
  7. Pediatrics (56%)
  8. Surgery, general (55%)
  9. Orthopedics, pathology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, dermatology (54%)
  10. Radiology, ophthalmology (53%)

                             Lowest Physician Burnout

Unfortunately, burnout — even depression — is a common sensation to many physicians today. According to one survey, 42% of respondents said they felt burned out while 15% experienced feelings of depression.

Physicians citing the lowest rate of burnout worked in the following fields:

  1. Plastic surgery: 23%
  2. Dermatology: 32%
  3. Pathology: 32%
  4. Ophthalmology: 33%
  5. Orthopedics: 34%

 How Do Physicians Achieve Work-Life Balance?

While the information above might be encouraging news to otolaryngologIsts (often referred to as ear, nose, and throat doctors) and orthopedics, does that mean physicians in many other fields have nothing to look forward to?

Not necessarily. Physicians reported improving their work life a few different ways, including:

  • Adding ancillary services with more revenue-to-time return
  • Concentrating on the clinical part of the job rather than the administrative
  • Starting a direct primary care portion of their practice

                                       Time for a Change?

If you’re considering changes to your practice that allow you to better balance rewarding work with enjoyable and rejuvenating personal time, we can help. iRad has served members of the healthcare community to improve day-to-day operations, introduce new revenue streams, and provide an even better patient care experience. We can help you, too. Contact us today to learn how.

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