Orthopaedic surgeons and urologists are more likely to play golf than other specialties but orthopaedic surgeons, vascular surgeons and thoracic surgeons make the best golfers, suggests research published in the Christmas issue of the BMJ.
The study looked at the golfing habits of more than 40,000 US doctors based on two databases: the Doximity physician database and the Golf Handicap and Information Network database, which is widely used by amateur golfers to log their scores.
For each doctor in the Doximity database, the researchers cross-referenced the information with the Golf Handicap and Information Network database to find out doctors’ handicaps and the number of games logged in the previous six months.
The study found that at least 4 per cent of doctors play golf, with male doctors and surgical specialists spending the most time on the golf course. Male doctors aged between 61-70 were most likely to play golf, and female doctors aged 31-35 were least likely to play.
Doctors who specialised in thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and orthopaedic surgery had the best handicaps, being about 15 per cent lower than doctors in endocrinology, dermatology and oncology.
However, with an average handicap of 16 overall, the authors say doctors are “at best, average golfers”.