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Healthgrades for Professionals9 Things Physicians Do to Stay Happy

Medscape surveyed more than 9,000 physicians for their latest Lifestyle & Happiness Report.

As physician burnout escalates and happiness levels decline in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent Medscape survey offers insights into the strategies physicians are employing to maintain their well-being and happiness.

Key Points:

  • Family and Relationships: 68% prioritize spending time with loved ones. 85% are in committed relationships, with 81% rating their relationship as good or very good.
  • Hobbies: Two-thirds find hobbies crucial for mental health, with gardening, cooking, and reading being popular choices.
  • Exercise: 67% of physicians exercise at least twice a week, using it as a means to relieve stress.
  • Sleep: 49% prioritize sleep, aiming for the recommended 6 hours.
  • Diet: 44% emphasize the importance of a healthy diet for happiness and mental health.
  • Mental Health: 35% prioritize personal well-being, with 9% finding therapy beneficial.
  • Spirituality: 69% identify as religious, with over 40% actively participating in religious practices.
  • Volunteering: Nearly two-thirds engage in volunteer work.
  • Vacation: 43% take 3 to 4 weeks of vacation annually, with 18% taking five weeks or more.

Additional Points:

  • Specialties and Relationships: Allergists and dermatologists report the highest relationship satisfaction, while urologists and rheumatologists have the lowest, though 77% are still content.
  • Diet and Weight: 51% of the surveyed physicians are trying to lose weight.
  • Spiritual Practices: Engaging in spiritual practices can fulfill social needs and boost happiness.
  • Volunteer Roles: Many physicians offer free medical services, while others volunteer with religious organizations, tutoring, or counseling.


  • Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, physicians are finding diverse ways to prioritize their happiness and well-being, ranging from personal relationships to spiritual practices.

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Did You Know?
Before the pandemic, 81% of physicians reported being somewhat or very happy, a figure that has now dropped to 59%.

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