Do physicians preach what they practice? A study of physicians' health habits and counseling practices

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Alcohol Drinking; Attitude of Health Personnel; Body Weight; California; *Counseling; *Health; Humans; *Life Style; Male; Medicine; Physical Exertion; *Physicians; Questionnaires; Regression Analysis; Smoking; Specialization


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


We examined the relation of physicians' clinical specialty, personal health habits, and health-related beliefs to their practices in counseling about smoking, weight, exercise, and alcohol. We surveyed a random sample of members of a county medical society in selected specialties. Physicians with better personal health habits and more positive attitudes toward counseling counsel a broader range of patients and counsel more aggressively. Surgeons counsel less than nonsurgeons, even after controlling for differences in health-related attitudes and personal habits.


JAMA. 1984 Nov 23-30;252(20):2846-8. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed