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doctors and smoking!!!

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by anum, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. anum

    anum Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    I am so shocked to see doctors smoke i mean dont we study about how detrimental the sticks are!!!how can a doctor convince a patient to quit if he himself is hooked and the same is for obese doctors or those who are overweight!:(
     
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  3. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Doctors are human, therefore we will inevitably be flawed and be struggling with similar issues that all of our patients struggle with. Some of these struggles are more visible, like smoking or obesity, and some are invisible like addiction and depression. We are not machines, we will be flawed, but by understanding our own flaws and struggles we gain perspective that can be utilized in our interactions with our patients. How can we have compassion for our patients struggles if we don't acknowledge our own? Doctors aren't supposed to be perfect, were supposed to be humans that help our fellow humans in the struggles that face us all. The only thing that separates us from our patients is our knowledge base, which is why we have the ability to help them. This is also why doctors aren't supposed to treat themselves, because we need outside perspectives on our own struggles too.
     
  4. SLPI

    SLPI Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    what's your point? it not immoral or against the profession for doctors to smoke (or be overweight for that matter). it is dumb because they know all the pathophys that goes along with smoking but its still their choice. this thread is useless.
    EDIT - agree with psipsina, comment was for original poster.
     
  5. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster 2+ Year Member

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    I don't know about obesity, but there is no excuse for a physician to be chain smoking. I believe people should practice what they preach.
     
  6. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Whether or not a physician follows his or her own medical advice does not impact the intrinsic merit of said advice. A physican is a diagnostician, conveyor of medical information, and an administrator/advisor for medical treatments. Now if a physician sets a bad example, it may make it more difficult to obtain patient compliance with his or her recommendations and it may also call into question his or her credibility with some patients. It is not, however, inherently immoral or unethical for a physician to have personal habits that he or she would otherwise advise against for patients. It all comes down to personal judgement and taking responsibility for one's own health conditions.
     
  7. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster 2+ Year Member

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    I disagree. Society generally does not accept the practice of saying one thing and doing the opposite. If you are a chain smoker, how are you going to keep a straight face when you tell someone to quit smoking? Unless you plan on saying something like "we need to stop smoking" as opposed to "you need to stop smoking".
     
  8. Towelie

    Towelie Resident Towel 5+ Year Member

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    The patient can't tell that you're a smoker. Keeping a straight face would be easy.
     
  9. Jack Daniel

    Jack Daniel In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    I agree with this answer. The physician is able to diagnose and offer sound advice on treatment. This is true regardless of how the doc lives his life.

    I like psipsina's comment, too. The fact that even doctors smoke and are overweight should underscore how easy it is to fall into bad lifestyles and how hard it can be to change. It should generate sympathy towards those who struggle with the same issues.
     
  10. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    What about being an alcoholic and saying that a patient can have a glass of red wine each night? Obviously an alcoholic physician would not be able to drink at all, but then he or she would be saying that its ok for someone else to. I just don't buy the hippocracy argument. And actually, I do think that our society condones it anyway, just look at our politicians ;)
     
  11. Tristy

    Tristy BairesYarnCreation @ etsy 5+ Year Member

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    In my happy place
    Oh please, then all physicians should work out regularly, get 8 hours of sleep, not eat fast food, have perfect cholesterol levels, etc, etc, etc. Physicians are not perfect. Get off your high horse people.
     
  12. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Having insight into what its like to struggle to stop a bad behavior is really helpful when having conversations about this stuff with your patients. I quit smoking after 6 years (I was a dumb dumb teenager) in college and man I will never blow off a patients experience trying to quit an addictive substance. I know how much willpower it takes, I know how much it physically hurts, I know how hard it is not to fall back into bad habits when times are rough (I restarted a few days after Katrina and had to stop myself from falling into it again . . . so obviously I'm still struggling with it), I also know how important it is to keep trying, and how important it is to have support from someone (i.e. your physician). I think many of us try to pretend that we don't have any internal struggles just because they aren't the ones we discuss with patients the most (smoking/drinking/healthy eating) but we all have them. I'm a nonsmoker, I eat really really healthy (like no sugar/no wheat products/all organic/no preservatives) etc but I struggle to make myself work out when I get stressed even though I know it will help me, and I struggle to stay as hydrated as I should even though I know how important this is etc. No one on earth is free from inner turmoil, its what makes us human. When I've had to have conversations with patients about this stuff I think it helps that I'm not coming from some deluded sense of superiority scoffing at their weakwilledways, instead I approach them with compassion for their struggles (which in turn doesn't make them defensive), and insight and motivation to help them with their current struggle, I don't judge them when they fail, as we all do in some way, instead I help them pick up and try again.
     
  13. Droopy Snoopy

    Droopy Snoopy 7+ Year Member

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    Not to mention our religious leaders. Knowing the full extent of the health risks involved in smoking as a physician and choosing to smoke is different from the average patient, who may not know more than 'smoking is bad for you' just like hundreds of other things. Once the patient has been informed, it's their own health and their own decision to quit or not, regardless of what their physician does.
     
  14. CatsandCradles

    CatsandCradles SDN Donor 5+ Year Member

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    My dad is an anesthesiologist - during the pre surgery consult, he would like ask all those question like "are you allegic to X, Y, and Z" that sort of thing.

    And then he would ask them, "Do you smoke?" And my dad purposefully gives the patient a very grim and tough look. And the patients just melts away in the seat. Then when the patient says "Yes," my dad is like "Oh well I smoke too!"

    And the secretary is all angry and laughing at the same time. :smuggrin:

    When the patient says, "No I quit years ago" my dad says something like "Good, I'm really proud of you - cause I'm a smoker and I can't seem to quit" :laugh:


    Eventually my dad did stop smoking. He never told me about these pre consultation/surgery stories, but this is what some of the nurses who work with him have told me.
     
  15. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    We have a lot of med students who smoke in my neck of the woods. I was surprised, but I think that it's just a function of the region. We didn't have very much smoking where I grew up.
     
  16. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Well, I don't smoke, but I have a hard time eating healthy and exercising. I'm borderline overweight and need to get it under control but definitely understand the difficulty involved in doing so.
    This is a little offtopic, but I think it might be relavent when talking to our future patients. This weekend I was talking to my parents about their eating habits and also their cholesterol levels (I just found out my mom's cholesterol is pretty high). We were talking about the prevalence of obesity in America and I told my Mom my BMI which is 26.0, which makes me overweight (no borderline about it). And then I told her what I would have to weight to be obese, and she didn't believe it. At least to my parents, obesity is so prevalent, they don't recognize it as such. (My sister who is obese they would call overweight, and a person who was morbidly obese they would probably call obese). We (as physicians) define overweight and obese by medical terms, where society has such a negative stigma attached to those words, patients may react negatively to being called as such (especially if they are somewhat borderline.) I've known for a long time that I should probably lose some weight, but wanted to for aesthetic reasons, not because of health risks involved. Just recently I discovered that I was technically overweight and was a little shocked. I've always thought I was at a healthy weight, just not bikini skinny. Apparently I was wrong.
     
  17. acute2

    acute2 Abort Retry Ignore 2+ Year Member

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    It is a choice whether to smoke or not to smoke. The most academic option is, of course, not to smoke. Patients are not the only ones who can smoke, doctors too. Eventually, doctors who smoke may end up as patients too. By the way, even some priests do smoke. :)
     
  18. NotThatOne

    NotThatOne 2+ Year Member

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    I agree w/ psipsina, haemulon, Jack Daniel, Tic


    I quitted smoking almost a year ago after about 15 years of smoking (pack+ a day during the last 8 years). Some of my profs and friends gave the same comments/arguments as the OP and virus, and my answer to them was more or less similar to Tic's:

    By the way, I didn't quit because I wanted to become a good "role model" for patients but because it was for my own good. As a former smoker, I think I can better relate to smoking patients, especially those who are trying to quit. If I was still smoking, I still wouldn't have a problem telling patients how bad smoking is. In the end, it's the patient's choice. I'm glad we are not living with communism.

    A smoking parent, though, is another story.
     
  19. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!! 2+ Year Member

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    I am so shocked to see recent members of sdn post redundant threads i mean dont we read the same thread many times!!!how can an sdn user convince other users of their argument if he himself uses bad grammur!:(
     
  20. rbrun

    rbrun arbie 5+ Year Member

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    Well said, DoctorDetroit. It's a great topic, but the op is a bit of a painful read.
     
  21. student101

    student101 Member 10+ Year Member

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    Being a doctor has nothing to do with it. EVERYONE knows that smoking is bad for you. So smoking is obviously not a knowledge issue. Last I checked, smoking was an ADDICTION issue. Doctors can become addicted to things just like the rest of the population.

    Agreed.
     
  22. Biscuit799

    Biscuit799 7+ Year Member

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    I've met two doctors at the cigar shop that I frequent in Tampa. One of the doctors I met actually let me shadow him for a week and we became pretty decent acquaintances. I'd wager that most docs smoke a stogie now and then, esp on the golf course!
     
  23. gbwillner

    gbwillner Pastafarian Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Funny thing...

    Head of Pulmunology at my institution smokes. Also has the only office where smoking is allowed. Also, the MD who taught the respiratory physiology course during Basic Sciences also smoked. And she was hot.

    What a strange and fantastic universe we live in!
     
  24. acute2

    acute2 Abort Retry Ignore 2+ Year Member

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    Smokers play a big role in the economy. They contribute much in the following sectors or industries:
    1. Tobacco industry
    2. Advertising sector
    3. Health sector
    4. Pharmaceutical/Equipment Industries
    5. Funeral/Memorial Services
    6. Taxation from these industries
     
  25. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

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    Is the value of medical advice dependant on the "moral worth" of the person giving the advice? Or does the advice have intrinsic value, regardless of the messenger?

    Is the purpose of the doctor to "convince a patient to quit"? Or is it simply to give him/her accurate medical information on the potential harms of not quitting, and strategies to quit?
     
  26. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

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    :thumbup: Exactly. Everyone has their flaws; some are just more obvious than others.
     
  27. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

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    It's a choice to start smoking, but for some people, it quickly becomes an addiction over which their control is limited.
     
  28. acute2

    acute2 Abort Retry Ignore 2+ Year Member

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    Yeh right, so the choice has to be an informed one like--smoking in the long run becomes an addiction.
     
  29. Jack Daniel

    Jack Daniel In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    I'll probably be called a boorish pig for this comment, but I think Critical Mass should post a little more in the osteopathic forums. I think his avatar will bring a certain sine qua non to my neck of the woods. :thumbup:
     
  30. Jack Daniel

    Jack Daniel In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    I'm also grateful that he's a donor since they get larger avatars.
     
  31. Llenroc

    Llenroc Bandidos Motorcycle Club 5+ Year Member

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    I don't smoke personally, but I've had relatives who smoked some of whom were doctors.

    My personal opinion is that people in the medical field need to chill out, and stop forcing this issue on the public so hard. At my medical school, I think you need to walk a quarter mile away from the hospital now before you can light a cigarette. It's just ridiculous.
     
  32. anum

    anum Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    its an observation.....even dumb for that matter but i believe that to stop something you have to be a role model...i think you have taken it a bit too negatively...its a fact ,it is harmful, is it not health we are trying to keep ....obesity is the leading cause of many ills....no one becomes a doctor overnight its takes all hard work in the world ,if a human can accomplish that he can fight against desires like too much food or smoking as well.....its matter of choosing right path. I am so not convinced by the fact that why do we not act wen we know....so calm down and think!thanks for your remark tho :rolleyes:
     
  33. anum

    anum Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    I so totally agree!!:)
     
  34. anum

    anum Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    I just dont know whats the point of grammur when you cant even write the word!! properly.and i had to convey a thought i did it you need to say something on it! or arrange for ma grammer lessons!i will certainly be highly obliged!
     
  35. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    I agree with this, but I think a patient who knows their doctor smokes might be less likely to quit because their doctor (whom they most likely respect) is either unable to quit - therefore it is unlikely that he will be able to quit, or has chosen not to quit - therefore why should he?
     
  36. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Its not so much about grammer, but rather that looking at your writing makes me dizzy enough that just don't want to read it. I'm not a very good writer, but am an avid reader, and while I could read the above sentences, I completely skipped your last reply because it was an eyesore.
     
  37. anum

    anum Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    well i am a cell user and its just that i had no idea that we have to go by the writing rules here so i have created my own short hand;) ...i will take care next time thanks !i am a finewriter and an avid reader.they both go simultaneously.
     
  38. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    not for me. I used to write, but since I got into science, my writing has greatly gone down hill.
    I don't know that its necessary to write in prose on SDN, but it is nice to keep "shorthand" to a minimum.
     
  39. anum

    anum Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    problems are there to be solved.Its a social set back!! It demolishes the whole concept of education! Topics are repeated because they persist and are irritating! Cant hide away or shut our ears can we? My point is that it is depressing to see doctors smoke because they know the underlying deteriorating consequences.Yes it is true that bad habbits are attractive.It is easy to seek refuge by smoking if something is on your mind troubling you!But why smoking why not getting addicted to exercise and healthy ways.:(
     
  40. naegleria brain

    naegleria brain 2+ Year Member

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    i agree with tired, the advice itself has the intrinsic value, not the mouth it's flowing from

    doctor's aren't pictures of health, but it is hard for patients to take others seriously when they themselves dont embody the same principles

    i personally find comedy in lasik ophthalmologists who wear glasses. it seems like every ophthalmologist does.

    but my reason for posting is a question for all of you. do you find that the incidence of obesity in your medical school class is much less than the incidence of obesity in the country (USA)? my class, the vast majority are not obese, and i'd hesitate to even say overweight. those that are spend a lot of time in the gym, so the BMI classification doesn't quite apply. is this a product of the younger age, or something else? what's your experience in your medical school?

    my last point is an anecdote. i have family friends in england who are unidentical twins, one obese, one normal weight. in england, you have to get 3A's out of 4 in their exams to get called for interviews. the twins grew up together, and have identical personalities, both with 4A's.
    the thinner one got in. do you think her weight played a role? its conceivable. your thoughts?
     
  41. Tristy

    Tristy BairesYarnCreation @ etsy 5+ Year Member

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    Well my friend, because as far as I know nicotine is a HIGHLY ADDICTIVE DRUG. Does that ring a bell? And it's keeping my brain happy at the moment.
    Humans deal with stress in different ways. I wish I could get addicted to exercise! :laugh: So far the death stick does it for me.
     
  42. med_heidelberg

    med_heidelberg 10+ Year Member

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    here in Germany tons of people smoke and it is really obnoxious! Before and class the students stand right outside the lecture hall smoking. Most nurses and a lot of doctors smoke too, right in front of the patients on the balconies too! Also you cant go out here anywhere without smelling horrid when you get home. Yuck! Smoking might be banned in public places here and I really hope that happens soon!
     
  43. Steve203

    Steve203 5+ Year Member

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    oh god...not this stupid post again....stop with the whole doctors smoking garbage...this subject comes up every couple of months.

    If you don't like smoking...don't smoke

    If you want to smoke..then smoke


    It's that easy
     
  44. anum

    anum Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    The problem is 99 percent of male population at my medical college smokes!its not a matter of liking!its a matter of falling badly in a whirlpool if mayhem!
     
  45. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

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    99%. I'm so sure.
     
  46. shivasHeroLike

    shivasHeroLike 7+ Year Member

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    wow, well said.
     
  47. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    l33thuania
    I agree with all the people that saying smoking sucks, but its a disease and not really something to look down on the smoker for.

    Now heres some great Bill Hicks quotes on the matter!

    To my delight, I find that there is a different warning on each pack of cigarettes. Mine says: "Warning: Smoking can cause fetal damage or premature birth." **** it – I've found my brand! "Yeah, give me a carton of Low Birth Weights." Just don't get the ones that say lung cancer, you know? Shop around. It is your body. Find a disease you can live with. "What are you smoking, Dave?" "Throat Polyps. Want one?" "No thanks, I'll stick with my Yellow Fingernails."


    Tell you, the worst kind of non-smokers' the kind where you're smoking and they just walk up to you … [starts coughing in the naggy-I-want-you-to-stop kinda' cough] I always say, "****, you're lucky you don't smoke. That's some cough you got there, dude. I'm smoking, you're coughing. Wow." That's kind of cruel, man, going up to a smoker and coughing. ****! Do you go up to crippled people dancing too, you ****s? "Hey, Mr. Wheelchair. What's your problem? Come on ironside, race ya!"
     
  48. Divine Furor

    Divine Furor Academician Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I'm not so sure the OP is talking about cigarettes anymore. :laugh:
     
  49. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    I understand what your saying here, but my experience with this is in restaurants (usually fast food) or outside of large stores (Walmart/Target) there is inevitably one or more employees right outside of the door smoking. Now why in the world would I want to carry my two children through the haze of your smoke in order to get inside? I think that is rude.
     
  50. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I love the no smoking in restaraunt thing that my city has started up, I'm sorry but even when I was a smoker the idea of smoke and eating just never went together for me. I respect the fact that its and addiction and that people have the right to smoke somewhere, but I agree with Lilnoelle that it is very upsetting to see children (I can just imagine if it was your own) getting exposed to cigarette smoke. When I've gone out with my little cousins or when I was nannying and someone would light up nearby I would politely ask if they could move away from the kiddies. Its one thing when there is a spot that is easy to avoid, like in the Hospitals where it is removed from your path and outside, but sometimes people smoke right where you're going to have to walk thru the cloud with the kids and that sucks.
     
  51. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    l33thuania
    Well, I think smoking sucks and should be banned from restaraunts - but not bars. Nonetheless, I find Bill Hicks hilarious.
     

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