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Healthgrades for ProfessionalsMedical Specialties Ranked by Life Expectancy

Mean age at death for all specialties was 78.9 years.

A comprehensive analysis of medical professionals’ life expectancy reveals intriguing variations across different specialties. Although doctors generally live longer than the general population, the data uncovers disparities among specialties, with factors such as stress, lifestyle, and socio-economic conditions playing a significant role.

Key Points:

  • Primary Care physicians had the highest mean age at death (80.3 years), while Emergency Medicine had the lowest (58.7 years).
  • The exceptionally shorter life expectancy of emergency physicians is considered an outlier.
  • Cancer was the leading cause of death among specialties, differing from the general population where heart disease is number one.
  • Physician stress and job burnout contribute to challenges, with a higher rate of suicide among medical professionals.

Additional Points:

  • Socio-economic factors and awareness of healthy habits contribute to doctors’ longer life expectancy.
  • Primary care doctors tend to retire earlier, possibly contributing to longer life.
  • Support for physical and mental health of doctors is gaining attention, with potential improvements in risk factor management and support services.


  • The study highlights the importance of understanding the factors that affect physicians’ longevity, including the choice of specialty. It emphasizes the need for support and risk management to enhance the well-being of healthcare professionals.

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Did You Know?
An earlier study examining life expectancy in doctors also found that each child a doctor has adds about one year to life expectancy.

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