The study focused on physicians and physician trainees at the University of Michigan Health System regarding their personal lifestyle behaviors. As defined in the survey, physicians were categorized as internists, family practioners, endocrinologists, and cardiologists. Physician trainees included residents from internal medicine, family medicine, and preliminary year interns.
. Among the findings:
Generally, however, "few physicians were confident the ability to change patient behaviors," the study states. Only 10.8% of trainees and 17.3% of attending physicians reported "high self efficacy" for changing patients' diet related behaviors, according to the study.
Both trainees and attending physicians reported low levels of fruit and vegetable consumption and relatively "low levels" of exercise. About 9.8% of trainees and 39.5% of attending physicians reported exercising 4 or more days per week
If physicians' exercised, however, they were more likely to be engaged in counseling patients. Their own dietary habits did not seem to play a role in how they counseled patients in what to eat.
And here's an interesting twist: While trainees or attending physicians were not confident in their ability to change patients' behaviors, the overweight physicians seemed to do better at it. According to the study, more than 20% of trainees and 27% of attending physicians were overweight.