Healthy doctors make healthy patients, study finds

Patients are more likely to follow preventive health practices like getting a flu shot or mammography if their doctors do likewise, researchers at the University of British Columbia and in Israel have discovered.

"We found that patients whose physicians adhered to the recommended screening or vaccination practices were significantly more likely to also undergo screening or vaccination compared with patients of non-compliant physicians," said Dr. Erica Frank of UBC's School of Population and Public Health.

Dr. Frank worked with three Israeli researchers and their findings are published in the April 8 edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Researchers looked at the screening and vaccination practices of 1,488 physicians and their almost 1.9 million in Israel's largest health care organization, Clalit Health Services (CHS). Practices included mammography, , colorectal screening, annual influenza vaccinations and others.

Dr. Frank noted that 49 per cent of patients of physicians who received a also received the vaccine compared with 43 per cent of patients whose physicians did not receive the vaccine.

The study also highlighted that doctors could improve their personal screening and vaccination practices.

"While physicians' are generally exemplary, doctors could improve some of their personal screening and vaccination practices, which should improve the health practices of their patients." Dr. Frank said.

The researchers recommended that hospitals and medical schools develop programs for physician health promotion in order to encourage a healthy doctor-healthy patient relationship.

More information: www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.121028

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Medical societies: Adults need vaccines

Nov 19, 2008

The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) have released a joint statement on the importance of adult vaccination against an increasing number of vaccine-preventable diseases. ...

Not all doctors follow cancer screening guidelines

Oct 14, 2010

Only one-fifth of primary care physicians in the US follow practice guidelines for colorectal cancer screening for all the tests they recommend, according to Dr. Robin Yabroff from the National Cancer Institute and her colleagues. ...

Recommended for you

It's time to address the health of men around the world

13 minutes ago

All over the world, men die younger than women and do worse on a host of health indicators, yet policy makers rarely focus on this "men's health gap" or adopt programs aimed at addressing it, according to an international ...

Advanced care decision aids underutilized

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Decision aids are underutilized for advanced care planning and their effectiveness is not well documented, according to a review published online July 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Research looks to combat US Latina immigrant obesity

15 hours ago

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States, comprising 16.7% of the population. Approximately one-third of Latinos are obese and are 1.2 times as likely to be obese compared ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

PeterD
1 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2013
Screening and vaccination don't make one healthy. Good nutrition makes you healthy, and Drs know NOTHING about nutrition, because Big Pharma prevents any med school from teaching it.