It’s not a big gap, but a higher percentage of female physicians are unmarried or living without a partner.
Most doctors are married or in a significant relationship, but women are a bit more likely to be going solo.
In its annual report on physician lifestyle and happiness released last month, Medscape offers a breakdown on doctors who are married, or living with a partner.
The survey found 85% of male physicians are married, compared to 72% of women doctors. Meanwhile, another 4% of male physicians are living with someone, while 6% of women are living with a significant other.
And 11% of women doctors said they are single, compared to 5% of male physicians. The Medscape survey found that 9% of women doctors are divorced, compared to 5% of male doctors.
Thankfully on Valentine’s Day, most of the physicians who have a spouse say they are happy in their marriage.
Roughly four in five doctors (81%) described their marriage as very good or good, while 14% said their marriage was fair. The Medscape survey found 4% of doctors said their marriage was poor.
While most doctors said they were happy in their unions, physicians in some specialties were more likely to be in happy marriages.
These specialties had the highest percentage of doctors in happy marriages: Allergy & immunology (89%); dermatology (86%); nephrology (85%): otolaryngology (85%); and oncology (85%).
One in five physicians (20%) said they were married to another doctor, while another 25% of physicians said their spouse worked in the healthcare industry in some capacity, but not as a physician. More than half (55%) had a spouse that was not in healthcare or not working. Medscape surveyed nearly 9,200 physicians in its annual lifestyle survey.
Women doctors have suffered greater career setbacks in the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study in Jama Network Open published in November 2021. Researchers found women physicians, including those married to doctors, were more likely to carry a greater share of family and household responsibilities and were more likely to reduce hours.
Some healthcare leaders have called for health systems to enact policies giving doctors better work-life balance to encourage more women physicians to stay in medicine, and to help address a worsening shortage of physicians. Women account for 37.1% of the nation’s physician workforce, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges.