Pass the putter — New study shows surgeons are the best golfers

A study published in BMJ examined golfing patterns among physicians, finding surgeons had the strongest golf game.

Researchers conducted an observational study of 41,692 U.S. physicians who logged golf rounds in the U.S. Golfing Association database as of Aug. 1, 2018.

Here's what they found:

1. Men accounted for 89.5 percent of physician golfers. Male golfers accounted for 5.5 percent of all physicians (1,029,088). Female golfers made up 1.3 percent of the total physician base.

2. Golfer rates varied across specialties. Orthopedic surgeons were the highest percentage of golfers at 8.8 percent, urologists were second at 8.1 percent, plastic surgeons third at 7.5 percent and otolaryngologists were fourth at 7.1 percent.

3. Internal medicine and infectious disease physicians were the least likely to golf.

4. Among golfers, thoracic surgeons had the best game, followed by vascular and orthopedic surgeons. Those three specialties had golf games 15 percent better than endocrinologists, dermatologists and oncologists.

Researchers concluded, "Golfing is common among U.S. male physicians, particularly those in the surgical subspecialties. The association between golfing and patient outcomes, costs of care and physician well-being remains unknown."

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