Which specialty of medicine is the happiest?

According to the Medscape report, the happiest specialties at work were dermatology in number one, ophthalmology in number two, allergy and immunology in number three, followed by a tripartite link between orthopedic surgery, psychiatry and pulmonary medicine. Pathology, dermatology, and family medicine are often considered relatively less stressful than other medical specialties. Family medicine is the primary care specialty in Canada that focuses on caring for the community as a whole. It's one of the most satisfying specialties, especially if you like to interact with people.

This specialty, like family medicine, offers a fixed number of consultation hours and the opportunity to interact and build long-term relationships with your patients. Dermatologists have the distinction of being the happiest doctors, with 39% of respondents feeling “very or extremely happy in their work.” This specialty also stands out for having the most physically fit doctors. Dermatologists reported both the highest activity and the lowest levels of obesity among all medical specialties. The report, which surveyed more than 90,000 physicians, ranks medical specialties in terms of flexible schedules and favorable working hours.

Below is a list of medical specialties ranked by happiness outside of work (from smiles to frowns), according to the study. Like dermatologists, they are also some of the fittest doctors and many report some of the highest levels of exercise and lowest obesity in medicine. Intensivists report a 25% happiness rate at work and the lowest levels of happiness at home among medical specialties. As if the medical profession weren't arduous enough, choosing one of the most satisfying medical specialties to maintain a good work-life balance is an important decision that medical students, interns, and residents often worry about.

At the other end of the spectrum, medical specialties stand out to a large extent, and general medicine, cardiology and geriatrics have the worst satisfaction and workload ratings across the board. Psychiatry as a medical specialty not only pays well, but also offers a shorter working week than other specialties and is perfect for those who have an outgoing personality and like to help people. It is one of the least exhausting medical specialties offering decent working hours with relatively less work stress. By having the right information about medical specialties and subspecialties, students who are still deciding in their medical field can choose medical specialties with the best lifestyle and make the right choice for the career path they want.

According to Medscape's Happiness Report, the most recent report that included in — work happiness as a measure — doctors less happy outside of work were still happier than medical specialties happier at work. Coincidentally, this is also the specialty that my family doctor recommended to me in the UK when I told him about my own plans to study medicine. Or at least something that gives me enough time and money to explore other interests outside of medicine. That is why it is difficult to say, precisely, what are the best specialties in terms of “quality of life”.

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