The article had a link to the source of the information, a site called CareerCast. It turns out that CareerCast actually had ranked the Top 10 most stressful jobs. The other 5 are military general, public relations executive, corporate executive, photojournalist and taxi driver.
The methodology of the rankings was described but it does not say how the ratings were decided or who did the rating.
I concede that enlisted soldiers, firefighters, airline pilots and police officers are putting their own lives on the line as well as being responsible for the lives of others, although I would say that airline pilots are no more likely to be killed on the job than non-pilots. To my knowledge, they do not pay extra for life insurance.
With the exception of military general, the other 5 jobs do not involve life-and-death decisions. [OK, if you've ever ridden in a New York City taxi, you might argue that some taxi drivers do put their lives and the lives of their passengers in peril.] Does anyone seriously believe that event coordinators, public relations executives, corporate executives, photojournalists and taxi drivers really have more stressful jobs than physicians?
The "methodology" includes 11 stress factors, including hazards encountered 0-5 possble points, own life at risk 0-8 points and others lives at risk 0-10 points. This means that an event coordinator or public relations executive, who would score 0 points for the 3 stress factors noted above [except for a potential hazard like a paper cut], still has so much stress that she exceeds the stress risk of, say, a surgeon.
I'm not buying it.