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Lower divorce rates among medical professionals, study shows

Georgia doctors, dentists, pharmacists and others working in the health care field may have lower divorce rates than the general public despite the stresses of the profession. This was the conclusion of a study that was recently published, and it will likely surprise many people who thought otherwise.

Researchers found that while 35 percent of people who were surveyed and who did not work in the health care industry were divorced, only 23 percent of pharmacists, 24 percent of doctors and 25 percent of dentists reported having that status. In addition, 31 percent of hospital administrators and 33 percent of nurses that were surveyed were divorced. According to the study's senior author, there is some conventional wisdom that doctors tend to have higher divorce rates than the general public, but this is the first large-scale study that has investigated whether this is true. The study surveyed 200,000 medical professionals along with more than 40,000 doctors as well as people in other lines of work.

Female doctors did fare differently from male doctors. Divorce rates tended to be lower for male doctors who worked more than 40 hours per week and higher for female doctors who did the same. The study's lead author said this might be due to additional stresses faced by female physicians in maintaining a balance between their job and their home life.

Medical professionals who are considering divorce may find it advisable to obtain the advice of an attorney. If the health care worker has a much higher salary than the other spouse, then alimony may be an issue. If one spouse supported the other through medical school, this may also be a factor in financial and property division negotiations during the proceedings.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Doctors Less Likely to Divorce, Study Finds", Robert Preidt, Feb. 19, 2015

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