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BMJ. 2015 Feb 18;350:h706. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h706.

Divorce among physicians and other healthcare professionals in the United States: analysis of census survey data.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
2
Department of Emergency Medicine and Leonard D Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
3
Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital; and National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA, USA jena@hcp.med.harvard.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate the prevalence and incidence of divorce among US physicians compared with other healthcare professionals, lawyers, and non-healthcare professionals, and to analyze factors associated with divorce among physicians.

DESIGN:

Retrospective analysis of nationally representative surveys conducted by the US census, 2008-13.

SETTING:

United States.

PARTICIPANTS:

48,881 physicians, 10,086 dentists, 13,883 pharmacists, 159,044 nurses, 18,920 healthcare executives, 59,284 lawyers, and 6,339,310 other non-healthcare professionals.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Logistic models of divorce adjusted for age, sex, race, annual income, weekly hours worked, number of years since marriage, calendar year, and state of residence. Divorce outcomes included whether an individual had ever been divorced (divorce prevalence) or became divorced in the past year (divorce incidence).

RESULTS:

After adjustment for covariates, the probability of being ever divorced (or divorce prevalence) among physicians evaluated at the mean value of other covariates was 24.3% (95% confidence interval 23.8% to 24.8%); dentists, 25.2% (24.1% to 26.3%); pharmacists, 22.9% (22.0% to 23.8%); nurses, 33.0% (32.6% to 33.3%); healthcare executives, 30.9% (30.1% to 31.8%); lawyers, 26.9% (26.4% to 27.4%); and other non-healthcare professionals, 35.0% (34.9% to 35.1%). Similarly, physicians were less likely than those in most other occupations to divorce in the past year. In multivariable analysis among physicians, divorce prevalence was greater among women (odds ratio 1.51, 95% confidence interval 1.40 to 1.63). In analyses stratified by physician sex, greater weekly work hours were associated with increased divorce prevalence only for female physicians.

CONCLUSIONS:

Divorce among physicians is less common than among non-healthcare workers and several health professions. Female physicians have a substantially higher prevalence of divorce than male physicians, which may be partly attributable to a differential effect of hours worked on divorce.

Comment in

PMID:
25694110
PMCID:
PMC4353313
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.h706
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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