Being a doctor is often associated with working long hours and high levels of stress and burnout. Fortunately, this isn’t true of all doctors, as there are many different physician specialties and subspecialties.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a physician and aren’t sure which type you want to be, here are some physician specialties that have reported the best work-life balance.
#1: Family Medicine Physicians
Family medicine physicians typically work in private practices, meaning that they’re subject to their own hours. Most family medicine practices operate Monday through Friday, and some may even have 9 to 5 working hours. This gives you more leisure time over the weekend, and more time to spend with family and friends— all while being able to continue making a difference in the lives of many people. It is one of the most rewarding specialities because it involves working directly with patients, particularly if you enjoy dealing with people. Family medicine specialists (particularly male ones) were among the doctors overall who reported being the happiest in nature.com’s analysis of the literature on medical satisfaction. Family medicine typically provides regular work hours and a fulfilling social life.
Dermatologists are skin doctors, but they also deal with issues affecting the hair and nails, helping patients with various hair, skin and nail conditions and recommending healthy routines. They too, operate from private practices like family medicine physicians, so they’re not always on-call like some other types of doctors. So dermatologists have a pretty good work-life balance, plus they also get paid a decent salary.
Anesthesiologists are known to administer anesthesia to patients undergoing major and minor surgeries. They also provide critical and preoperative care. This is one of the more stressful physician specialties, but it’s still not as stressful as some of the specialties that haven’t made this list. Anesthesiology also doesn’t allow for much talking and social interaction with patients, but this works out perfectly if you’re more of an introvert.
Although you may have to put in long hours, you’ll have more control over your schedule. One of the specialty with the lowest levels of stress is this one. Additionally, this medical specialization can be ideal for introverts as there is little to no patient engagement (no time for small talk if you’ve done a good job putting the patient to sleep!).
Pediatricians are known as the “kid doctors”, as they work with patients under the age of 18— some under the age of 13. They’re also very similar to family medicine physicians, as they work in private practices with set hours Monday through Friday. This is the more ideal medical profession if you enjoy working with children, although there will still be interactions with adults, such as the child’s parent(s) and your colleagues. When examining your possibilities for a branch of medicine, professional satisfaction is an important factor to take into account. A wise choice of speciality can have an impact on all facets of your child’s future because how you think at work frequently spills over into your home life and can damage your health and relationships generally.
Psychiatrists are focused on mental health, rather than physical health. Like therapists, they help those struggling with both minor and major mental health issues, but psychiatrists are able to prescribe medication to treat certain mental illnesses. They too, have hours similar to pediatricians and family medicine physicians, leaving weekends (and holidays) free for leisure time. They’re also able to work virtually full-time, unlike many other doctors.
In addition to having good income, the medical speciality of psychiatry also has a shorter work week than other disciplines. Psychiatrists are in short supply throughout Canada, and as one of the few medical specialties that may conduct their whole practise online, it can provide you with a great deal of freedom. Psychiatry may be one of the medical disciplines with the finest work-life balance in overall, since 72% of psychiatrists are content with their work careers.
Immunologists specialize in allergies that affect the respiratory system and the immune system. They work with both adults and children since they’re specialists. Immunology is a complex speciality that deals with everything from asthma to autoimmune diseases. They too, work in private practices, allowing them more standard weekday working hours, as opposed to having open availability.
Pathology is another specialty that’s perfect for introverts: their work is mainly focused on research and not some much with direct interactions with patients. In fact, pathologists work the closest to other physicians since their line of work is focused on studying the causes and structure of diseases. Over 75% of all pathologists surveyed are happy with their work-life balance.
Nephrologists, also known as urologists, specialize in treating the kidneys and urinary tract. Like pathologists and immunologists, they work closely with other physicians because they specialize in areas that general physicians typically only have a working knowledge of. They do, however, work longer hours than some of the other physicians on this list, but their work-life balance and satisfaction rates are comparable to pathologists.
Nephrologists specialise in treating conditions affecting the kidneys and urine system. Nephrologists are frequently affiliated in some way with academic medicine or teaching institutions because they deal with highly specialised problems.
#9: Obstetricians and Gynecologists
OBGYNs specialize in the female reproductive system. More specifically, obstetricians specialize in pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the female reproductive system and disorders associated with it. Obstetricians generally have less flexibility than gynecologists (as they can work more standard hours, whereas obstetricians are on call), but it’s still a very rewarding job to bring a new life into the world. It’s also easy to look for openings in the OBGYN field (thanks to sites link PracticeMatch) so job security and availability is also a huge plus.
Overall, you should decide which physician speciality is right for you if you’re considering going into the medical field. If your passion lies in another specialty, then that’s the path that you should follow. There’s always a way to find the perfect work-life balance that works for your schedule and lifestyle, but you have to be satisfied with your work as well.