Loan Management, Physician Lifestyle

AMA Insurance's new report, 2014 Work/Life Profiles of Today's U.S. Physician, delivers insights

May 06, 2014

Fifty-one (51) percent of physicians over age 60 graduated from medical school with debt. Now 73 percent of physicians under age 40 have student loan debt.  And nearly half of these young physicians carry a debt of $150,000-200,000 – with 83 percent still paying off their loans. These statistics form a partial profile of physicians today. They also point up a difference by age, one of many that emerge in AMA Insurance's newly released 2014 Work/Life Profiles of Today's U.S. Physician.The in-depth report paints a highly dimensional picture of physicians’ work and lifestyles, and shows some distinct differences between physicians under age 40, ages 40-59, and 60-69.  Report findings were compiled from a national survey conducted by AMA Insurance in October 2013.

An intriguing look at physicians at every stage of their career

“The enthusiastic response of nearly 5,000 physician participants helped us build a deep and very realistic portrait of physicians’ lives today,” said D.S. Friday CLU, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of AMA Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Medical Association (AMA). “We found that there is no ‘one’ profile for physicians when it comes to lifestyle, but rather a number of profiles related to different age groups, with some reflecting gender differences.  Together, they offer an intriguing look at physicians at work and during leisure time, at every stage of their career.”

Report reveals current work/lifestyle insights

The 2014 Work/Life Profiles of Today’s U.S. Physician presents a wide range of insights spanning home and family life, activities and hobbies, work life, technology use, personal finances and financial concerns, and future personal and practice plans.  Following are several findings; the full report is available here.

MARRIAGE: Nearly 40 percent likely to marry physician or healthcare professional; young physicians more likely to marry physicians than other age groups

  • The majority of physician respondents are married and nearly 40 percent are married to a physician or healthcare professional. Seventy-five (75) percent of physicians under age 40 are married; they are more likely to marry other physicians (26 percent) than those ages 40-59 (18 percent) and over age 60 (13 percent).

WORK:  Most work 40-60 hours per week, but nearly 25% work 60 to more than 80 hours per week.

  • 20% of female physicians under 40 with children at home work less than 40 hours per week.
  • 70% of physicians work primarily days, about 30% work a combination of days and nights.  Only 1% of all physicians work strictly nights.

PRACTICE PLANS:  23 percent under age 40 to change employers; 44 percent over age 60 to retire

  • In the next five years, most physicians plan to continue practicing, but 23 percent under age 40 plan to change employers – and 13 percent of physicians ages 40-59 also plan to make that change. Also in five years’ time, forty-four percent of physicians over age 60 plan to retire.   

PERSONAL FINANCE: Retirement savings top concern; male physicians want more savings than female physicians; over age 60 physicians want $1,000,000+ more 

  • Retirement savings is the top personal financial concern of physicians of all ages. The next top concerns are protecting estates from taxes (older physicians) and investment strategies and college fund savings (younger physicians). 
  • Asked about more retirement savings, physicians under age 40 (65 percent) said they would like to have $200,000-500,000 more in savings at this point in their life; physicians over age 60 would like to have $1,000,000+ more. Males in all age groups were more likely to want $1,000,000+ in incremental savings than female physicians.

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Facebook most used by female physicians; LinkedIn popular among young male physicians

  • Facebook is most popular with physicians under age 40 (71) percent and ages 40-59 (47 percent). About a quarter of physicians of all ages used LinkedIn.  However, 38 percent of physicians ages 40-59, and almost half of physicians over age 60 do not use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Google+.  Pinterest is the least used by all age groups, followed by Twitter.
  • Female physicians are more likely to use Facebook than males. For example, 76 percent of female physicians under age 40 use Facebook versus 66 percent of males. Male physicians, especially under age 40, are more likely to use Linked In than female counterparts.

ACTIVITIES: Physicians highly active outside of work, throughout their lives

  • Half of physicians under age 40 run and jog; 35 percent of age 40-59 bicycle, and 36 percent run and jog.  Nearly one third of physicians ages 60-69 bicycle and 23 percent run and jog. Other top activities are camping/hiking, golf, aerobics and snow skiing. 

About the Survey: The national survey was sent to 125,000 practicing U.S. physicians up to age 69 in October 2013. The respondent profile (N=4,950 physicians) showed almost equal representation across age segments (24 percent ages 30-39; 25 percent ages 40-49; 29 percent ages 50-59; 22 percent ages 60-69); a 62-38 percent male to female ratio; and 29 percent in family medicine and internal medicine, 11 percent in pediatrics, 7 percent in obstetrics/gynecology and 53 percent in other specialties and sub-specialties. Survey data was collected through Qualtrics®. There was an overall 95 percent confidence interval with a margin of error +/- 3 percent.

About AMA Insurance: Established in 1988 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Medical Association, AMA Insurance Agency, Inc. specializes in meeting the insurance and financial services needs of America’s 1,000,000 physicians, both AMA members and non-members.  Authorized to conduct business in all 50 states, AMA Insurance offers a portfolio of physician-exclusive disability, life, health insurance, and retirement plans for individuals, medical group practices and other institutions. AMA Insurance’s national reach enables the agency to provide physicians with unique physician-focused coverage at competitive rates from top carriers. For more information, visit the AMA Insurance website at 

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