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Study Finds Low Divorce Rate among Medical Professionals

Posted on in Divorce Rate

divorce rate, doctors, Kane County Family LawyerThere are countless factors that can drive a married couple apart, eventually leading to divorce. Internal pressures, of course, such as children, finances, and spousal responsibilities can create disagreements and contentiousness between partners. In addition, many couples must also deal with difficulties created outside of the relationship, including career requirements, demanding work schedules, and stresses related to non-marital related activities. It is easy to assume that individuals with rigorous work schedules, wrought with difficult decisions, may be more likely to allow such challenges to greatly impact their marriage and experience a higher divorce rate than others. A new study has found, however, that for medical professionals, at least, that assumption would be incorrect.

Anupam Jena, MD, PhD, and Dan Ly, MD, both doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, led a team of researchers as they analyzed data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The team looked at the divorce rate among various occupation groups including physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, health-care executives, and attorneys. "It’s been speculated that doctors are more likely to be divorced than other professionals because of the long hours they keep and the stress associated with the job," Dr. Jena said, "but no large-scale study has every investigated whether that is true."

The study’s sample included responses from more than 6 million people, of which about 250,000 were health professionals. Jena’s team found that outside of the health-care industry, the divorce rate was about 35 percent. Physicians, however, experience a divorce rate about one-third lower, around 24 percent. Only pharmacists showed a lower rate at 23 percent. Lawyers and nurses were a little more likely to get divorced, with rates of 27 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

One of the more interesting findings to come out of the study, however, was the impact that gender seemed to have on the divorce rate of doctors. The research suggested that women doctors were more likely to divorce than male doctors, especially if they worked longer hours. Dr. Jena speculated that this may be related to the role that females generally take on within the household and maintaining a job as a physician may lead to significantly higher stress levels and eventually divorce. "For women physicians," Dr. Jena observed, "they appear to be essentially getting a raw deal because there is a trade-off they have to make, that unfortunately the male doctors don’t have to be making."

Whether you are employed in the medical field or not, divorce is rarely an easy process. If you are considering divorce in Illinois, the compassion team at A. Traub & Associates is ready to work with you every step of the way. Contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney today to schedule a consultation and start creating the future you deserve.

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