Fat doctor

Doctor’s lead a very healthy lifestyle. They work out, stay away from smoking and alcoholism and always eat balanced nutritious diet. Do you really think so? Well, this article will tell you why you should think it over again!

Although health care professionals may be assumed to make healthier lifestyle choices and have better health outcomes than others because of their greater health literacy, little is known about how actual health outcomes of health care professionals compare with those of the overall population

A study conducted at mayoclinic on the prevalence of chronic diseases and healthy lifestyle behaviors among healthcare professionals in United States has revealed some shocking data.

Patient consulting fat doctor

The study revealed that. although rates of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension were lower among health care professionals compared with the overall population, disease was still common among health care professionals and increased over time at a rate similar to that of the overall population. The prevalence for healthcare professionals to healthcare diseases like diabetes and HTN were less compared to the general population. They were also staying away from smoking , a good thing indeed and doing exercises when compared to the overall population. But, when it came to heavy alcoholism, healthcare professionals were exposed!

This study is conducted in the United States and when we think about healthcare professionals in India, the situation becomes even worse.

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in India are at more risk, wondering why? Let me explain. The working hours per week for an Indian professional almost 16 hours compared to the US professionals. Thw work load and pressure at work place is too much in India and I think all Doctors are going to agree with me on this one. Nurses were treated like construction workers minus the high wages! Eight hours per day of work exists only in the employment contract and in the law books, and is seldom followed.

I’ve asked many doctor friends of mine on the number of minutes they workout every week and the answer was a sly smile! It’s not unusual to see doctors in India above the age of 30 with huge potbellies, trying desperately to cover it up with trendy clothes.

Lack of time, tension and anxiety related to work and family makes them spend more money on fast food and they easily slip into the sedentary lifestyle which they tell their very patients to avoid!

Now coming to exercise and workout, every healthcare professional I know fall into three groups:

a. They know the importance of aerobic and weight controlling exercice and so they do it, but not regularly. This group seems to follow a cycle of events which goes in the this way – Start deieting and workouts to reduce weight -> they do it regularly for 3 months or till the time they stay motivated -> then they purposefuly decrease the regulariy after achieving their initial goal, or getting close to their goals -> they stop the exercise and return to the old junk food loving sedentary bat they were to begin with! After 6 months or so, when they realise their folly, they jump on to this cycle once more and this goes on for years and some times decades.

b. The lazy group, who think that they are walking enough in the hospital during ward rounds and on the way to work. They might occassionaly go with their friends for a morning or evening walk and think that they have done something great! They might have good control on the food and diet, but are lazy to workout, period.

c. This is the minority group and as you have rightly guessed, these guys are fully committed to the workout and for them, it’s a part of their life. They also have goodiet habits and occassionaly eat fast food too. They spend at least 150 minutes every week for the workouts.

Doctors who smoke are few in number as far as my network reaches, but I must admit that I’ve worked for 6 years with a chain smoker too! And when it comes to alcoholism, I think, the earlier mentioned study stands true in India too or at least in Kerala!

An advantage of being a healthcare worker is thatthey have easy and sometimes free access to medical and imaging tests. Most of the doctors and nurses whom I know personally make use of heir of this advantage by doing periodic blood and imaging tests. Often, it is such routine tests that sends this group of professionals to dieting and workout sessions. From this stage, they can go to either of the three groups mentioned above depending on the level of motivation, commitment, and seriousness of the health problem detected by the test.

Last month, I received a forwarded message in WhatsApp regarding the death of a handsome young 35 year old Orthopedician in Karnataka who had started his own hospital and worked hard for it’s growth. He was found dead one morning and some of his friends were pointing fingers at his lifestyle and habits.

Do you go to a Gym? Just ask the reception guy on how many doctors have a regular and active membership! I’m not telling that going to a gym is the only way to workout and don’t bash me on this point in the comments.

So, that should explain why our healthcare professionals are at even more risk of getting chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, life limiting diseases like heart attacks and strokes. Now let’s go to the infectious and communicable disease area.

The Nipah virus attack in Kerala freaked the hell out of us doctors a few months back. All the healthcare workers including doctors were wearing double face masks, protective gloves and some had protective gear to cover the whole body. News channels were showing the fully portected health conscious doctors working hard to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. So, what about now? Were those gimmicks simply a show to be practiced only in such outbreaks? Why are doctors and other healthcare workers not bothered now? Are they strictly practicing those standard and universal helaht precautions now? Do they really think that a face mask and that sanitizer is going to keep them and the patients safe from microbes and viruses?

I”ll tell you a real life story that happened to my seniors. They were married with a 6 month old baby. My senior at college was practising as an ophthalmologis and her husband was an orthopedic surgeon. Their baby used to have frequent ear infections along with flus and colds and it was getting worse every single time . Guess what the pediatrician asked them to do? A simple shower! No, not for the baby, but for the mother who apparently was breast feeding after simply changing the clothes when she returned from the hospital!

Here’s another true incident for you guys to ponder. A forensic surgeion in Kerala died from Hepatitis B after getting infected from an autopsy accident!

Doctors are life savers, heroes and noble. They need to be the teachers of good health and for that to happen, they should start putting their mind and body to the words of wisdom they have been repeatedly telling their patients to do for ages.

Are you a health evangelist? What do you think about this article? Share the stories for our readers in the comments below.

Here’s another true incident for you guys to ponder. A forensic surgeion in Kerala died from Hepatitis B after getting infected from an autopsy accident!

Doctors are life savers, heroes and noble. They need to be the teachers of good health and for that to happen, they should start putting their mind and body to the words of wisdom they have been repeatedly telling their patients to do for ages.

Are you a health evangelist? What do you think about this article? Share the stories for our readers in the comments below.

Dr Prasoon

Dr Prasoon

Author at BeingTheDoctor
Dr Prasoon, founder of BeingTheDoctor is a qualified medical practitioner who finds time to write articles on "health" and his "clinical experiences". He is currently engaged in providing primary health care services in rural India. Learn more in the "about" page.
Dr Prasoon
Hey Doctors, you are as unhealthy as your patients!

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