Whew! It looks like our physicians do take good care of their health. A May 25, 2010 article in the Wall Street Journal “Checking Up on the Doctor-What Patients Can Learn From the Ways Physicians Take Care of Themselves” describes the results of various polls and surveys of physicians personal health practices. In general, as the article describes, they are in better health and physical condition than most of us.
It should be comforting to know this as the demands on physicians are ever increasing. They lead stressful lives indeed. Insurance company hassles, government regulations, demanding patients, tight schedules, threat of lawsuits, paperwork, sick patients and office personnel issues can take their toll.
We need these physicians more than ever. There is expected to be huge demands on physicians as the baby boomers come of age. Also, as an estimated 30 million new patients gain access to health insurance with health care reform, some foresee a major shortage of physicians, meaning the ones out there will be working even harder. It seems intuitive that physicians can lead us to better health by example. “Practice what you preach” as the saying goes. Makes sense. But I don039#t think we ought to lay all this pressure on physicians. They have enough pressure on them already.
We all know the basic principles of good health. I mean, who among us doesn039#t know that regular exercise is good for us? Watch your fat and cholesterol intake. Minimize use of salt. Don039#t drink to excess. And the big ones – don039#t smoke and watch your weight. We are bombarded with these messages every day and in every way. They started back in our health and phy ed classes in elementary school. Just about every newspaper and news show has a regular health segment. Really, if we don039#t know the basics by now, it is our own fault.
So, let039#s be happy that our physicians are more mindful of good health practices than most of us. But let039#s give them a little slack on leading by example. A little personal responsibility goes a long way.
Contributed by Jeff Ostrowski, PT, CEO/Owner