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How Physicians are Experiencing COVID-19

By Tim Callahan09 Dec 2020

 During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals are putting their physical and mental health at risk every single day. Caring for patients amid the crisis takes a significant physical and emotional toll on all healthcare workers, whether they’re working on the front line in hospitals, emergency rooms or private practices. 

While most others spent the first months of the pandemic on lock-down, physicians  faced the pandemic head-on — regularly exposing themselves to a virus we still don’t fully understand.

Today, we’re taking a look at how physicians are experiencing COVID-19, by the numbers:

Most Physicians Have Treated a Patient with COVID-19


More than half (54%) of all U.S. physicians have personally treated at least one patient with COVID-19, according to a survey by Medscape. And numbers are even higher in Spain (68%) and the UK (60%).

Additionally, 80% of nephrologists have treated a patient with COVID-19.

Not All Physicians Have the Protection They Need


29% of U.S. physicians have treated patients without appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The number is 2.3 times higher  in Spain where 67% of physicians have treated patients without PPE.

Most Physicians Incomes are Dropping

62% of U.S. physicians said their income has decreased since the start of COVID-19, with 28% reporting a decrease between 26% and 50%. Meanwhile, 35% reported their income stayed the same, and only 3% enjoyed an increase.

Physicians are Less Physically Active


The pandemic has put a damper on healthy activities for many doctors. 31% of U.S. physicians said they’ve been exercising less during the pandemic. 29% say they’ve been eating more, and 19% report they’ve been drinking alcohol more often.

The Pandemic is Putting Stress on Physicians’ Home Life

44% of U.S. physicians say  COVID-19 has put a strain on their relationships — particularly with family members, and 46% say they’re feeling more lonely. Doctors under age 45 are the group most likely to report stress in their home life.

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