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Practicing what we preach.

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by t-bone, Jul 25, 2001.

  1. t-bone

    t-bone Member
    7+ Year Member

    May 12, 2001
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    Should physicians set an example of living a healthy lifestyle for their patients and community? Furthermore, if a physician is overweight, for example, can he legitimately tell a patient to lose weight?

    I'm just curious what everyone's thoughts are on this subject.
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  3. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Mar 2, 1999
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    That subject came up in class during my first year. The subject came up revolving around smoking. The debate was how can you tell your patients to stop smoking if you smoke. This eventually led to how can you tell your patients to loose weight and you are obese.

    Who is to say what is healthy. My grandmother calls obese people "healthy".
  4. Stephen Ewen

    10+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2000
    Likes Received:
    The power of a life that backs up one's words is beyond dispute.

    Barring that, there is the power of being open about one's scars that have come by not doing/living right, and about what one is doing/has done to overcome.

    But usually, we are some combination of success and failure. So we can stive to exhibit both. That too is powerful.

    The person who does not exhibit these--a life that backs up one's words and/or openess about one's scars and what one is doing/has done about them--will certainly suffer their effectiveness in correlative measure.

    "Do what I say, not what I do" just does not have as a big of an impact.

    This is just the ins and outs of "moral authority," and a taking of human nature into account in it.

    My main concern is the path most physicians must take to becoming a physician works strongly against them living a healthy lifestyle. That is a tough, tough issue, where I think fundamental change needs to occur.

    That's my take.
  5. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator
    10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
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    Resident [Any Field]
    I've thought about this and thus have change my lifestyle for me to practice what I preach.... There's my take ;)

    Yes, I've lost a significant amount of weight (~60-65lbs), don't smoke, don't drink alcoholic beverages, resistance train, jog/run, etc....

    By doing all this, it gives me a perspective on how hard it is to struggle with something making me more sympathetic with what a patient may have to go through.... Will I impose this to my patient? Probably not, because it is a struggle.... but it won't stop me from telling them that it is possible....

    I think it's possible to not practice what you preach and still make a difference in the patients life.... The doctor that helped me lose weight was a very obese man, himself.... it didn't stop him from telling me to live a healthier life....

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