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Hospital in Texas won't hire people w/BMI over 35?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Ashley1989, Apr 29, 2012.

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  1. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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  2. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    If posts like this are not allowed, please close it, I am not sure of the rules.
  3. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    Ehhh... I don't know. I guess i'm indifferent about it.
  4. ScholarStud

    ScholarStud

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    As long as the hospitals are private I like it.
  5. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    BMI > 35 is grossly overweight...
  6. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    But isn't most if what matters located between the ears? If someone had a BMI of 35 but is a damn good doctor then so be it. I know of several surgeons who are very heavy (ie>35) but the some best around.
  7. SunsFun

    SunsFun VICE president

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    I support providing incentives for people to have a healthier lifestyle but unless some condition makes it impossible for a person to fulfill his role, it shouldn't be a factor. So I am against it.
  8. SunsFun

    SunsFun VICE president

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    Also, this is discriminatory. Certain races weigh more on average, thus this can effectively be a barrier for them to enter.
  9. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    lol wut?



    Some races do better academically, so should employers not be allowed to based any hiring decision on academic achievements and distinctions?
  10. SunsFun

    SunsFun VICE president

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    You cannot set up a criteria to employ someone when it is known that it would create bigger obstacle for certain races. For example, there was a law suit filed and won by the African-American employees of a pizza company I believe. They were fired because they didn't shave daily as it was required. The problem is that black skin is more sensitive than white and shaving daily creates problems for black people. I know this is a little different situation but you get the idea.
  11. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    But I don't think obesity is completely a genetic phenomena. Yes, hispanics are XX% more likely to be grossly obese, but I don't believe its because of a specific gene they have/lack. Whereas sensitive skin probably has a genetic component.
  12. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    But this directly correlates to patient care. It could be reasonable to conclude that a physician who scored poorly and barely scraped by would not be as good of a physician as one who scored very well, so acadmics can be good indicators for success later on. Weight in most situations doesn't affect patient care, so yes this is discrimination, not in the patients best interest as far as patient care.
  13. SunsFun

    SunsFun VICE president

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    Weight has a genetic component too. The most obese people in the world right now are the ones who live on the Islands. Their bodies are more adapted to eating fruit and fish and very little red meat. Due to dietary changes they gain weight much easier and retain it more when subjected to the exact same diet as white people for example.
  14. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    this whole thread already happened....
  15. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    Then please share the link
  16. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    actually the rationale for this was that since obesity is the leading cause of preventable illness in the USA that a physician who is obese cannot be taken seriously when urging patients to lose weight. Ergo patient care suffers. Whether or not you agree....
  17. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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  18. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    I'm simply looking for people's thoughts on hospitals and their ability to refuse a job to someone based on BMI.
  19. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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  20. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    Sure in preventive care. But must this mentality also be in things like trauma and very specialized surgery? Like i said i know of a top cardiac surgeon and peds neurosurgeon who are very heavy. The hospital would be losing out if they applied there. How the team presents or what message they send to a patient are just one piece of a very large puzzle.
  21. Praefectus

    Praefectus MS-0

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    They have a prerogative to insure that hospital employees represent a healthy lifestyle to patients. For example, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta will test you for tobacco particulate in your bloodstream before they hire you.
  22. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    I agree. I dont think that the texas hospital is making a good move. I just dont think they are breaking any rules either. some states have clauses which allow employers to terminate for no reason (which should not be confused with "any reason"). i.e. the employer does not have to give a reason why someone is being terminated or why they are being passed over for a job. however discrimination still stands so if one can prove they were discriminated against it is a whole other issue.
  23. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner

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    I think this is a sensible hiring practice. In my mind, a healthcare professional should strive to project a healthy image to his or her patients. Genetics is a poor justification for obesity. It's not difficult to maintain a BMI less than 35. However, keep in mind that this policy applies to new hires only, and there's no penalty for subsequent weight gain. It doesn't strike me as particularly discriminatory, also considering that this hospital is willing to help job applicants toward meeting their weight requirement.
  24. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    just as in the other thread - it is important to remember that the law does NOT protect against discrimination. It only protects against specific discriminations. As was implied earlier, jobs and schools already discriminate against low scores/credentials. Just because we are used to using "discriminate" with a negative connotation does not mean that the above is not still discrimination.
  25. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    This is a stretch but what about the people who are fine with their high BMI and don't see it as something to be ashamed of. Shouldn't we accept other people, offer support, and ultimately let it be? How can we expect patients to come talk to the hospital staff openly and be honest about their issues when they know the hospital is being so judgmental on the staff? I see both sides to the argument, and feel quite torn on the issue myself.
  26. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth One-winged Angel

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    BMI is a poor measurement anyway. I bet a lot of bodybuilders out of competition season have BMIs around that range. Yes I know thatd be a pretty rare example, but still one nonetheless. If you're gonna discriminate against fat people, at least do it right and pull out the calipers.
  27. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    :thumbup::laugh:
  28. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    If I'm ever taken into the ER with a head trauma I'm not going to give a damn if the doctor had a BMI of >35 or not what I care about is how good they are and what their plan is to help me.
  29. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    yeah, but fat people are expensive employees. They consume much more healthcare per year than non-fat people that employer healthcare insurance covers. They also require more "sick-days" and are generally less productive.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDUQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gwumc.edu%2Fsphhs%2Fdepartments%2Fhealthpolicy%2Fdhp_publications%2Fpub_uploads%2FdhpPublication_35308C47-5056-9D20-3DB157B39AC53093.pdf&ei=5uOdT6jXIuqniQK3_uhg&usg=AFQjCNEC1oGJXCqOK_5RFhf3m8JtIACNmA&sig2=ahwuown8E-pBW1FsUVPSyw



    Its a way to save money.... Just like when a university limits students printing to "go-green and better for the environment," like my wretched undergrad tried to tell us. Smoking is the same (drives up costs of employees) = bad for business! So the mask it with a "better for x" reason.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  30. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    But in the big picture is screening out a few obese people really going to save that much money? I just think its a really petty thing.
  31. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    yeah, but in a large healthcare system where this is applied to nurses/na's/doctors/cleaning staff and so on it adds up... For one hospital it would still be a fair amount of money saved. 20k saved it still something that can be added to someones list of achievements for promotion.
  32. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989

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    So is this being justified from a financial standpoint or for the benefit of the patient and the message it sends? Maybe both? Or really the first but using the second as an excuse. I think that one.
  33. Marge

    Marge

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    Am I correct to assume that hospitals do the same for smokers and drinkers? How it would it be any different for overweight people?
  34. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner

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    I'd say both. Financially, it's wise to have as healthy a workforce as possible, but also from a patient care perspective, I think patients, if given a choice, would want people who are healthy to care for them. I know I would.
  35. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    It's both. Who would you be more inclined to take dietary advice from, an obese doctor or one of average weight?
  36. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136

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    What if you're rly jacked? BMI is a flawed system, why they hell would they base their employment on that crap...
  37. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    I think its to give them a legal reason to not hire an obese person. They would probably let a muscular person slide.
  38. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136

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    Then do body fat %. There's a huge difference between someone with 18% bodyfat and a 35 BMI and someone with 35% bodyfat and a 35 BMI. This system discriminate against people who lift, it should be abolished.
  39. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    franz was saying that an exception would be made. Also I dont think there are too many physicians with muscle-induced BMI > 35.
  40. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136

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    But where is the line drawn for the exceptions? It doesn't have to be Ronny Coleman, but a relatively average guy that is pretty muscular but alittle chubby (but not at an unhealthy level). Its much easier to have a high BMI when you have a good amount of muscle on you. As someone said earlier, they should drop the scale and bust out the calipers.
  41. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    I think you are being too black and white with this. I doubt they are having all applicants list their dimensions. But if someone who is obviously obese applies they will be turned down by this policy.
  42. PancakeSorting

    PancakeSorting

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    I always thought it was a way to cut costs, for better or worse. Morbidly obese people have a lot of health issues, like someone already said.

    Also, isn't Texas one of the fattest states in the U.S.? Maybe they're hoping thinner doctors will inspire patients to be lead healthier lifestyles. :cool:
  43. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136

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    Based on my read of the article, they take your height and weigh you to calculate your BMI. If you are over 35 then you have to lose weight to be hired.
  44. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    I'm not just someone!
  45. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    Do you know what a BMI of 35 looks like?

    5'3" and 197 pounds
    5'8" and 230 pounds
    6'0" and 258 pounds

    That's big; that's not a muscle-bound weight lifter.
  46. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness

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    A hospital we rotate through in Louisiana has similar policies. They blood test everyone for nicotine on hiring, and if you pop positive you aren't hired. They don't refuse to higher the obese, but they have cut all of the desserts and sodas from the cafeterias and part of your pay comes in the form of a bonus for meeting certain health goals. For example they make everyone wear a pedometer, and you get a bonus if you hit your target number of steps.n

    I spoke to one of the physicians that implemented the policy and he said it was 100% about controlling costs. People don't realize what a huge chunk of labor costs healthcare is, they estimated it at about 15% of the gross. They found another hospital that implemented a similar program and cut their health insurance costs in half.

    FWIW the program seems to work. It was kind of cool to watch the entire nursing staff slim down over the course of the year.
  47. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    I'm 6'2" 235. BMI = 29.5 However if I complain about losing weight to anyone I get a :eek: look because I have a fairly normal build for this height. Id have to get to 275 (+40 lbs) to hit 35. That is HUGE. I would like to see a muscular BMI of 35... if if even happens. Anyone have build stats on some of the crazy body builders?
  48. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136

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    Not always true. A big strong guy with high bone density could hit those weights with a body fat precentage that would not be considered unhealthy/obese (he wouldn't have a 6 pack or anything though). It may not be the most common occurance, and most people over bmi 35 will be there because they're obese. I just think BMI is very flawed, and don't see why they wouldn't use a more accurate measuring technique when there are many readily available.
  49. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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  50. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    how variable do you think bone density is? and how much do you think this impacts overall weight?

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