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Lower divorce rates for medical professionals

According to a study, New Jersey health care professionals may be less likely to divorce than people who work outside the health care field. The study was conducted over a period of five years and looked at more than 240,000 medical professionals throughout the country. While around 35 percent of individuals in professions outside of health care are divorced, many professions within the field showed lower numbers.

Nurses were nearly equal with other professions with 33 percent divorced, but health care executives and dentists ranked lower with 31 percent and 25 percent divorced, respectively. Doctors came in even lower at 24 percent, and only 23 percent of pharmacists were divorced. The study's senior author, a hospital physician and Harvard professor, says that the results may be good news for those who are interested in entering the medical field but are concerned about how it may affect their personal lives.

However, male doctors appeared to fare better than female doctors. Women were 1.5 times more likely to be divorced than men their age, and this rate of divorce increased as they worked over 40 hours per week. The opposite was true for men. One of the study authors suggested that this might be related to additional difficulties that female doctors face with work and life balance.

Doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals who are facing divorce may want to consult an attorney about issues including child custody, support and asset division. If they have been the main earners, and their spouses have stayed at home with the children or worked part-time, it may be necessary to pay support. If both work demanding medical jobs, they may need to adjust their hours to accommodate their children's needs.

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