29% of physicians report developing personal friendships with patients

Despite warnings from the American Medical Association to avoid personal relationships with patients, 29 percent of physicians reported developing friendships with patients in Medscape's 2022 Physician Friendships report. 

Medscape surveyed 1,600 physicians in over 29 specialties in 2022, with a plurality of respondents being pediatricians and family physicians (12 percent each). 

The majority of respondents (96 percent) also reported giving medical advice to their friends at least once. 

The majority (67 percent) of physicians also reported that the greatest challenge to making and keeping personal friendships is a demanding work schedule with long hours. 

Fifty-five percent answered that their job sometimes makes it hard to maintain friendships, while 18 percent noted that their job always makes it hard. 

Twenty-six percent of physicians noted that their closest friends are work friends.

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