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

JAMA. 1984 Nov 23-30;252(20):2846-8.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

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