Physician Martial Satisfaction Research Project
Physicians possess many traits that make them excellent in their chosen profession, such as perfectionism, dedication, and a strong work ethic. Unfortunately, these same traits often make it difficult to make and maintain healthy marriages, and at times may prohibit the ability altogether. It is estimated that the divorce rate for marriages in which at least one partner is a physician is 10-20% higher than the general population. Further, those couples who do remain married often report marriages that are less satisfying than non-physician marriages. Research also reveals that physicians have a high incidence of suicide, depression, substance abuse and emotional problems, and it is possible that marital dissatisfaction contributes to the development of such difficulties.
This research project addresses this important issue by examining the predictors of marital satisfaction in marriages with at least one family physician partner. After the predictors are identified, we will develop residency curriculum to teach the skills necessary to incorporate those behaviors into marriage. Adding curriculum that addresses these life skills has the potential to improve the overall well-being of the physicians and their families. When completed, this project will provide a better understanding of variables which are most important in couples in satisfying marriages and those which are most common in unsatisfying marriages.
Hopefully, those entering medicine in the future can anticipate a field in which physicians have the same expectation for a healthy lifestyle for themselves as they promote for their patients.
The first 50 couples to respond to the survey will receive a $20 Starbucks gift card. Couples wherein both partners are employed by East Tennessee State University will not be eligible to receive the gift card. Participants who are eligible will be required to provide their Social Security Number and home address in order to claim the gift card.
Funding for the gift cards for this research was provided by the Department of Family Medicine, Quillen College of Medicine, ETSU.