Why do doctors not live long?

When I was the President of Delhi Medical Association in 2005, we wanted to make a list of doctors who were 80 years old and above. We had a hard time finding them.  We could collect only 22 doctors.  Today, we have 40000 members in Delhi Medical Council and the picture has still not changed.  We have only one doctor in the city, who has completed 100 years and those who are 80 and above are again only few in number.

I personally feel that doctors live less number of years than non-doctors.  One reason is professional hazards.  The factors responsible are:

  • The stress level of doctor is much higher than the stress levels in non-doctors in other professions.
  • Stress level has increased in the city of Delhi since the introduction of the Consumer Protection Act.
  • The decision of Delhi Medical Council and Medical Council of India to suspend license on deficiency of service has also increased the stress in doctors.  They always pray that if the patient has a complaint, he approaches the Consumer Court and not the Council.
  • Smoking and alcohol is not unknown in doctors.
  • Metabolic syndrome and pot belly obesity is again very common in doctors.
  • Diabetes and heart disease are also equally common.
  • Surprisingly, the incidence of coronary artery disease, angioplasty, stenting and bypass surgery in Cardiologists too is not less.
  • Doctors are more susceptible to hospital-acquired infection, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV as professional hazards.