Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Leading by example

Patricia Lindholm, M.D.
MMA president
I was recently alerted to a new Gallup study that looked at the health and health behaviors of physicians compared to nurses and to other employed adults. The results were also controlled for income and education. How did we physicians do? Perhaps the title will give it away: “U.S. Physicians Set Good Health Example.”

Overall, physicians are in better health compared to the employed adult population.  The study also lists comparative prevalences of chronic diseases among physicians, nurses and employed U.S. adults. 

Our health behaviors are similar to other highly educated individuals with the exception of smoking. Only 4 percent of physicians smoke, compared to 15 percent of nurses and 20 percent of other workers.

It would be interesting to see if the findings hold true at each of our clinics and hospitals. Like all rankings, it can be a motivator for some of us to do better.

 It’s great to see that we appear to be listening to our own advice.