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Medical professions show lower divorce rate than other jobs

According to a recently published study, medical professionals in Arizona and throughout the country are less likely to get divorced than the general public. The study indicated that among those medical professionals, doctors have one of the lowest divorce rates of all. Slightly more than one-third of people who do not work in health care are divorced, but the same is true for only 24 percent of doctors.

Rates for pharmacists were even lower at 23 percent. Nurses had a higher rate than many health care professionals at 33 percent while 31 percent of executives working in the health care field and 25 percent of dentists had been divorced. The study was conducted over a five-year period from 2008 to 2013 and looked at nearly 250,000 medical professionals.

The study did find that female doctors tended to fare less well than their male counterparts. Male doctors who worked more than 40 hours per week were less likely to be divorced than those who worked fewer hours. Among female doctors, the opposite was true. The study's authors attribute this to the difficulty in the balance between work and life faced by women. However, overall, the senior study author pointed out that the stress of the medical profession did not generally seem to result in higher marital turmoil.

Despite the lower divorce rate among health care professionals, marital breakups still occur, and people who work in the medical field may have special circumstances they need to negotiate if a marriage does come to an end. For example, the long or potentially irregular hours may make child custody and visitation arrangements more complex. Furthermore, Arizona is a community property state, so if one spouse owns a practice, this may lead to complicated negotiations over asset division.

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

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