Endocrinologists are among the least satisfied of all medical specialists, according to a new Medscape survey.
In the extensive Medscape Endocrinologist 2020 Lifestyle, Happiness and Burnout Report, less than a quarter (23%) of endocrinologists reported being "very" or "extremely" happy at work, with only rheumatologists, internists and neurologists With lower grades. in that metric
Like everyone else, endocrinologists are happier outside of work. But even there, just under half (49%) were very or very happy, linking with gastroenterologists and surpassing only internists, critical care specialists and neurologists.
The findings are based on the responses of 15,181 physicians from 29 specialties who responded to the 10-minute online survey conducted from June to September last year. About 1% of respondents were endocrinologists.
More endocrinologists reported being "depleted" than depressed (31% versus 2%), although a considerable 16% reported having both exhaustion and depression. And of great concern, almost 1 in 5 reported having had suicidal thoughts.
When asked about the possible causes of exhaustion, 77% supported "too many bureaucratic tasks", 46% mentioned "insufficient compensation / reimbursement", 34% responded "increased computerization of the practice (electronic medical records)" , and 33% said "I also spend many hours at work."
With regard to compensation, a 2019 Medscape report found that, while endocrinologist salaries had increased from $ 212,000 in 2018 to $ 236,000 in 2019, they were still located near the fund in payment of specialists, surpassing only doctors in public health / preventive medicine, pediatrics and family medicine.
Junk food, isolation and alcohol are among coping strategies
The current survey also found that endocrinologists are not always dealing well with burnout. While 42% said they "talked with family / close friends" to deal with it, another 39% reported eating junk food, 35% said they were isolated from others, 20% drank alcohol and 12% ate compulsively .
While 37% said they exercised to cope with exhaustion, 52% generally reported that they exercise only three times a week or less. Other coping strategies included sleeping (35%) and playing / listening to music (25%).
Alarmingly, 19% reported having thoughts of suicide, although no respondent had really tried. Only 12% reported that they were seeking professional help to cope with exhaustion and / or depression and 18% had done so previously.
The majority, 60%, had never sought professional mental health care. When asked why not, 45% said they were "too busy", 40% responded "symptoms not severe enough" and 36% said "I can deal with this without the help of a professional". A smaller proportion, 13%, feared risk disclosure.
On the positive side, most report on happy marriages
On a more positive note, more than 80% of endocrinologists are married or in a committed relationship. And of them, a large majority describe their marriage / relationship as "very good" or "good."
Interestingly, the proportion that lists their marriage as "very good" was considerably higher for men (70%) than for women (47%).
In general, endocrinologists ranked third among the specialties in reporting high satisfaction with their marriages, 60%, surpassed only by nephrologists and specialists in physical medicine / rehabilitation (61% each).
Endocrinologists reported that they usually take 1-2 or 3-4 weeks of vacation per year, 39% and 43%, respectively.
When asked if they spend "enough time in their own health and personal well-being," only 6% said they "always" do it and only 30% do so "most of the time." Most do it only sometimes (39%) or rarely (25%).
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