Survey queries pulmonologists' happiness at work


Only 26% of pulmonologists report that they are happy at work, with about twice as many happy outside of work, according to Medscape’s Pulmonologist Lifestyle, Happiness & Burnout Report 2020. Dermatologists are the happiest at work, at 41%, and neurologists are the least happy, at 18%.

Survey: Physicians who are very happy at work by specialty

According to the report, which surveyed more than 15,000 physicians from various specialties, 29% of pulmonologists report feeling burned out, with 5% reporting feeling depressed and 12% both depressed and burned out. An overabundance of bureaucratic tasks is the lead contributor to burnout (52%), according to pulmonologists, followed by lack of respect from administrators, employers, colleagues, and staff (38%) and spending too many hours at work (35%).

Pulmonologists report that exercise is the biggest way they cope with burnout (47%), compared with neurologists, for example, who ranked it third at 40%. Other ways they deal with burnout include isolating themselves from others (43%) and playing or listening to music (38%).

Among depressed or burned-out pulmonologists, 70% reported not planning to seek professional help or seeking it in the past, while 12% reported currently seeking professional help. Furthermore, almost half of pulmonologists (48%) say they’re unlikely to participate in workplace programs.

When asked for reasons they wouldn’t seek professional help, 60% said they deal with it without professional help and 49% didn’t think their symptoms were severe enough, while 31% were simply too busy.

The slideshow of the full report is available on Medscape.com.

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