March 4, 2015
Divorce Rates Lower for Pharmacists Than Other
Healthcare Professionals

Boston—A recent analysis may have been focusing on divorce rates of physicians compared to other healthcare professionals in the United States, but it ended up painting a very positive picture of home life for pharmacists.

Among the findings of the analysis, published recently by BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), is that pharmacists were less likely to have been married more than once by the time of the survey compared with all other occupations in the study.

The adjusted probability of being ever divorced was 22.9% among pharmacists compared to 24.3% among physicians, report the authors, led by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital. That is compared to 33.0% among nurses, 30.9% among health executives, 26.9% among lawyers, and 35.0% among other nonhealthcare professionals.

For the retrospective analysis of nationally representative surveys conducted by the U.S. census from 2008 to 2013, the researchers had data available on 48,881 physicians, 13,883 pharmacists, 10,086 dentists, 159,044 nurses, 18,920 healthcare executives, 59,284 lawyers, and 6,339,310 other nonhealthcare professionals.

The main outcome measures were logistic models of divorce adjusted for age, sex, race, annual income, weekly hours worked, number of years since marriage, calendar year, and state of residence. The authors looked at both divorce prevalence (whether an individual had ever been divorced) and divorce incidence (whether an individual became divorced in the past year).

Pharmacists, physicians, and dentists all have an adjusted probability of becoming divorced in the past year of 1.0% compared to 1.3% among nurses, 1.1% among healthcare executives, 1.2% among lawyers, and 1.4% among other nonhealthcare professionals.

For physicians, divorce prevalence was greater among women at 1.51%, and longer weekly work hours were associated with increased divorce prevalence only for female physicians.

Average hours worked per week, highest among physicians at 50.4, were in the lower range for pharmacists at 38.5—similar to the 37.6 hours among dentists and 37.1 hours among nurses. Healthcare executives had 46 hours work weeks, slightly more than lawyers with 45.1

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