Monday, August 30, 2010

6 ways physicians take care of themselves - and what patients can learn

At Stinson Brand Innovation, we conduct many research studies to compare and contrast physicians' knowledge with their actual practice.

So, I was intrigued by a recent article in the Wall Street Journal that dove into the ways physicians manage their own personal health and well-being. 

As a whole, physicians are leaner, fitter, and live longer than the average American.  Male doctors have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure.  The average American does have a leg up on physicians, however, as doctors are less likely to have their own primary care physician and are more susceptible to prescription drug abuse.

According to numerous studies, doctors who exercise and watch their weight are more likely to advise their patients on the same healthy lifestyle.  Also, healthy physicians appear to be more credible.  According to Professor Erica Frank, "There's a strong link between what doctors do themselves and what they tell their patients to do."

Below are 6 ways that a physician's lifestyle differs from that of the average American:
  • Over 50% of doctors surveyed said they exercise 3 or more times per week, for 30-60 minutes
  • 64% of postmenopausal female OB/GYNs used Hormone Replacement Therapy, even though only 18% would recommend it to their patients
  • Only 2-4% of physicians smoke, compared to 24% of the US population
  • Doctors, while more likely to consume alcohol, are less likely to binge drink
  • 40% of male physicians are overweight, and 23% are obese, compared with 43% and 23% of US males, aged 60 and older
  • About 43% of male doctors ate fish 2-4 times per week, which was associated with a 37% lower risk of dying from colorectal cancer
Click here to read the full profile.

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