While an increased divorce rate among doctors has been a long-standing – and likely hurtful – cliche, allow us to dispel this stereotype once and for all: It is decidedly not true.
In fact, misconceptions and stereotypes to the contrary, divorce is actually less common among male physicians than for other professions. The assumption has long been that since doctors work long hours, have more stress and face more professional demands than other professions, those factors naturally contribute to issues at home and in a marriage.
And while male doctors are not immune to the same challenges all marriages face, female physicians in particular do lend more credibility to the stereotype of the divorced physician. As compared to their male physician counterparts, female physicians are one-and-a-half times more likely to divorce. That said, it is important to note that among all divorces – physician and otherwise – any women working more than 40 hours a week is much more likely to divorce than a woman who works 40 hours per week or less.
For those physicians who did divorce, a Johns Hopkins study identified the following most commonly occurring issues:
- The demands of the job;
- The emotional experiences of physicians, particularly for surgeons and psychiatrists;
- Marrying before medical school graduation;
- Being a female physician;
- Being less emotionally close to parents, and
- Expressing more anger under stress.
Granted, those contributing factors seem to exhibit fairly random associations, like physicians who experienced the death of a parent prior to medical school graduation having a significantly lower divorce rate, as did physicians who were members of an academic honor society during medical school.
So why the higher rate for female physicians?
It’s suspected that it’s a result of societal norms which place domestic duties primarily on women, whether or not they’re working.
And while finding a work/life balance in a marriage is something that can be tricky for both sexes, female physicians – and the general population of women – are often expected to not only deal with the stress and the long hours of work, but are then expected to also manage their household and childcare, too.
Thankfully, despite the popular misconception, doctors don’t get divorced more often than those in other professions. Ultimately, physicians are like all of us – trying to juggle a career, marriage and children.
But if you are a physician contemplating divorce or have already filed for divorce, the Tampa divorce attorneys at Anton Castro Law have extensive experience handling divorces involving physicians. Contact Christina Anton at Anton Castro Law for an experienced divorce attorney dedicated to ‘Representing Your Best Interests.’