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Are Surgeons Happy?

People respect and admire surgeons. After all, the latter save lives as their duty. With their knowledge in surgery and experience at the hospital, surgeons can treat diseases and improve their patients’ lives.

This reputation enjoyed and maintained by surgeons makes the rest of us curious. This interest generates a multi-million dollar industry for drama shows, documentaries, and movies about the surgical field.

But in the real world, how do they see and recognize themselves? Are surgeons happy and satisfied with their careers?

In this article, you will learn the answer based on their statistics and testimonies.

What makes being a surgeon gratifying?

Looking from afar, working as a surgeon seems like a luxurious career. After all, surgeons in Australia earn the most, with $500,000 as their annual salary.

Surgeons also enjoy improving their skills over time. Their career demands them to lead research in medicine and surgery, so they learn constantly.

Most of all, surgeons find it gratifying when they help save patients from death and painful diseases. Through surgeries, they can also improve the lives of many people.

What are the drawbacks of being a surgeon?

However, the lives of surgeons are far from perfect. They finish surgical training with heavy debt and years to catch up in the workforce.

Surgeons also sacrifice much of their social lives as they work for long, exhausting hours. Severe fatigue is a complication that surgeons endure every day.

Do statistics say that surgeons are happy?

It is disappointing that there is sparse literature about the happiness of surgeons despite their tremendous contributions to society.

Fortunately, Medscape released a report on the happiness and issues that general surgeons pass through in 2019. This respected online medical magazine provides insightful statistics that will answer the question.

According to this report, only 27% of the general surgeons who responded to Medscape’s survey said they are mostly happy with their careers. Plastic surgeons, who are on higher percentiles, do not fare better. Only 47% of them say that they feel the same while working.

55–57% of general surgeons declare that they are happier when they are not at work. Concerning this, 46% of general surgeons say that they are severely fatigued in their careers. Meanwhile, 12% of them feel depressed, while 3% are clinically depressed.

Several factors make general surgeons feel unhappy and exhausted. These include hospital politics, procedures, salary issues, and fatigue.

Nonetheless, surgeons know how to cope with severe fatigue. The top five strategies they perform are exercise, isolation, sleep, talking with loved ones, and eating junk food.

Furthermore, 80% of general surgeons who go through severe fatigue and exhaustion think about approaching mental health professionals.

Less than half of general surgeons may be that joyful as they work, but that is not the case about their self-esteem. 63% of general surgeons have high confidence. 30% have average self-esteem.

Are surgeons happy? Yes, they are. But the happiness of surgeons can vary based on their burn-out levels, support system, and personal satisfaction at work.

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