Are U.S. doctors are more likely to divorce?

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, in 2008, roughly 14,250 physicians were licensed and working at medical clinics and hospitals throughout the state. Home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, Minnesota is home to some of the most well-respected and highest compensated of all U.S. physicians.

Doctors spend years studying and training for how to diagnose and treat serious injuries and health conditions and, for many, work is their life. For these reasons, doctors tend to marry later in life and, for those who do marry, unpredictable work schedules and long work hours can have a negative impact on one's home life.

While career responsibilities and pressures can adversely affect any marriage, a recent study indicates that, overall, the marriages of doctors are actually less likely to end in divorce than those of individuals in other health care professions.

For the study, researchers examined data from the American Community Survey. When compared against individuals in other health care roles and professions, researchers determined that the likelihood that a doctor's marriage will end in divorce is roughly 24 percent. At 33 percent, researchers found that U.S. nurses are more likely than doctors to divorce as, at 33 percent, are executives within the health care industry.

For anyone who is married, work-related obligations and commitments can cause friction and problems within a marriage. Regardless of occupation, spouses who aren't able to work to find a healthy and mutually-satisfying life and work balance are likely to experience conflicts that, if not addressed, could lead a couple to divorce.

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