Despite The Stereotype, Study Suggests Doctors Are Not More Likely To Divorce
Anupam B. Jena, an assistant professor of health care policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School, couldn’t escape the jokes about doctors and divorce — the long-held belief that physicians’ stress levels and long, irregular hours can ruin a marriage. So Jena decided to see if there was any truth to the cliché.
Turns out, there wasn’t any.
Divorce is actually less common among doctors than other professions, according to Jena’s new study published in the journal The BMJ. He and his fellow researchers looked at census data from 48,881 physicians, 10,086 dentists, 13,883 pharmacists, 159,044 nurses, 18,920 healthcare executives, 59,284 lawyers and 6,339,610 other non-healthcare professionals collected between 2008 and 2013 to see how the divorce rates compared in various occupations.
According to the data, doctors had the lowest probability of currently being divorced. Physicians were also the least likely of all professionals, aside from pharmacists, to have been married more than once. Only 22 percent of doctors in the sample had ever been divorced, compared to 32 percent of healthcare executives, 28 percent of lawyers and 37 percent of the non-healthcare workers.