Physician, heal thyself: health maintenance behaviors among physicians

Abstract

The goal of this article is to assess the need for health maintenance intervention programs directed at physicians and patients. We compared the health maintenance behavior compliance of physicians (as patients) to a control patient population. An online survey was sent to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) medical school clinical and nonclinical basic science faculties and to the non-TTUHSC clinicians of the local county medical society. The survey included questions regarding basic demographics and recent participation in regular health maintenance strategies including annual checkup, influenza vaccination, colonoscopy, Pap smear, and mammogram. Logistic regressions were conducted to determine if being a physician had a significant association with the likelihood of participating in the health maintenance behavior outcomes listed above. This article shows that physicians are less likely than the general population to adhere to specific health maintenance guidelines: namely, annual checkups, colonoscopies, and mammograms. Pap smear rates did not differ between physicians and a control population, but physicians showed an increased likelihood of receiving an influenza vaccine.

Publication
Texas medicine