207849 Physicians' exercise: What do we do, and why does it matter for our patients

Monday, November 9, 2009

Erica Frank, MD MPH , School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Carolina Segura, MD , School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Purpose: To review relationships between physicians' and medical students' personal physical activity (PA) levels and their encouraging patients' PA. Methods: Includes already-published data from nationally representative samples of U.S. medical students (n= 2316) and women physicians (n=4,501), regarding personal and clinical health practices. PA levels were assessed using a Godin exercise questionnaire. Results: 61% of U.S. medical students adhered to CDC PA recommendations, with little change during medical school. Frequency of students' PA counselling patients was consistently related to personal PA practices. The percent of students perceiving that PA counselling would be highly relevant to their practices decreased over the four years of medical school, from 69% to 53% (p <.01). Nearly all (96% of) women physicians reported exercising; 49% exercised enough to meet CDC recommendations, and these physicians were more likely to be unmarried, white, have light stress at home and work, have female physicians, be in good health, and to not feel overweight. Physicians complying with ACSM recommendations also were more likely to counsel patients on exercise, to counsel confidently, and to be trained in counselling; 59% of female primary care practitioners and 33% of female specialists counselled typical patients at least yearly on exercise.Conclusions: Among U.S. medical students and physicians, personal PA levels are higher than those of age-matched peers in the general population, are maintained throughout medical school, and are positively correlated with frequency of PA counselling of their patients. However, counselling rates and perceived relevance are low in both physicians and physicians-in-training.

Learning Objectives:
To describe U.S. medical studentsí personal tobacco- and alcohol-related habits To discuss the effect of U.S. medical studentsí personal tobacco- and alcohol-related habits on their patients To identify appropriate areas for intervention on medical studentsí tobacco- and alcohol-related habits, in order to improve the health of the entire population

Keywords: Health Behavior, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and participated in all steps of the study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.