Monday, 16 Sep 2019

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Why Rheumatologists are the Happiest

 
It’s hard work wearing a crown. The dermatologists have been dethroned as Medscape’s happiest specialty after years at the top. While studies only detail that we are the most satisfied outside of work, I argue we are the happiest working, too.
 
With an N of 1, here are my observations. 
 
  1. We find our job satisfying. I tell patients that I understand they don’t want one of our diagnoses or to take long term medications but, the flip side of the coin is that our specialty focuses on quality and longevity of our patients lives. What a blessing!
  2. Our disease states are interesting which peaks our intellectual curiosity.
  3. We treat humans, not lab tests or imaging results. This allows us to create long term relationships with our patients and their loved ones.
  4. Our colleagues are supportive, smart, and engaged. Bernie Rubin taught me that The “real fellowship starts after graduation.” With this in mind, we are generally nice and enjoy running cases with each other. I’m so lucky to have wonderful mentors that I love turning to for their expertise.
  5. We are an interesting bunch with varied activities in and out of clinic. If you you find me in clinic, I promise to laugh with you about your latest camping snafu, music recital, or my new adult tap class, etc. 
  6. We understand that our staff are integral to our happiness and treat them well. It’s more than “just a job,” they are family.
  7. We tend to put family first which actually improves our focus and dedication in clinic.
  8. Rheumatologists are integral in our communities. I enjoy reaching out to other providers if they have questions or concerns about patients. Bonus: this builds relationships and referrals.
  9. Our specialty supports research, academia, and clinical interests for individuals, and in various combinations.
  10. We get to eat! Remember that old surgery adage of “eat when you can, sleep when you can, pee when you can?” Yeah, we don’t have to live that way.
When deciding upon specialties in medical school, rheumatology was a natural fit and I can’t imagine spending my time doing anything else. So wear your crown proudly! I can’t wait to share this with my dermatologist mom. 
What else would you add to this list?
 
The Medscape survey of >15,000 physicians and 29 specialties showed that rheumatologists topped the list by specialty with 65% indicating they were happy outside work. Followed by otolaryngologists (60%), diabetes/endocrinology specialists (59%), and pediatricians (58%). This differs from last year when the four happiest groups of specialists were allergists, dermatologists, emergency physicians, and ophthalmologists.
 
You can see the whole survey here.
 
 

 

Disclosures: 
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

Rachel Tate, DO is in clinical practice at Arthritis Care and Research Center and is a member of the Baylor Research Institute in Dallas, TX. Her areas of interest include patient advocacy, musculoskeletal ultrasound, pregnancy in connective tissue disease, and spondyloarthropathies.


Rheumatologists' Comments

Very good summary, and I agree. We have enjoyed 'Happiest Specialty" status in other surveys, too. I love what I do and the freedom to do what I love outside the office too. Thanks for writing this piece.
Very good summary, and I agree. We have enjoyed 'Happiest Specialty" status in other surveys, too. I love what I do and the freedom to do what I love outside the office too. Thanks for writing this piece.