Your doctor’s bad health philosophy raises health care costs

Another reason health care costs are high is because your doctor isn’t that healthy. 
Photo: Healthy physicians make for healthy patients

WASHINGTON, DC, March 6, 2013 - An important study published by The American Heart Association found that medical doctors who exercise and don’t smoke are more likely to recommend lifestyle modifications to improve patient health. Researchers found that “those who exercised at least once per week or did not actively smoke were approximately twice as likely to recommend these interventions.”

The study went on: When asked about specific types of advice offered to their hypertensive patients, physicians reported recommending that their patients eat a healthy diet (922 of 1000), or cut down on salt (961 of 1000), or attain or maintain a healthy weight (948 of 1000), or limit the use of alcohol (754 of 1000), or be physically active (944 of 1000). Collectively, 66.5% (665 of 1000) made all 5 lifestyle modification recommendations. Physicians who were between 40 - 49 years old were 1.6 times as likely of making all 5 lifestyle recommendations compared with those who were under 40 years. Additionally, those who exercised at least once per week or did not actively smoke were approximately twice as likely to recommend these interventions.

If your doctor is healthy you have a better chance of being healthy. If your doctor has a bad diet, doesn’t exercise, smokes, or can’t deal with stress, you are not going to get very good advice about your health.

Health philosophy matters more than you think. If your doctor has a health philosophy that calls for drugs first, that’s what you will be prescribed. If your doctor is more conservative or if you have an alternative health care provider as a primary physician, you will get recommendations about lifestyle first to see if riskier forms of care can be avoided.

Take some time on your next visit to ask your doctor how they approach health. Ask some hard questions and listen carefully to their answers. If you and your doctor are not on the same page, it’s probably time to change doctors.

This is your health we’re talking about and it is another way to cut health care costs by offering lifestyle recommendations. The country could  avoid the invasive medical procedures that are far too common as the first approach to health care.

Dr Peter Lind practices metabolic and neurologic chiropractic in his wellness clinic in Salem, Oregon. USA. He is the author of 3 books on health, one novel, and hundreds of wellness articles. His clinical specialty is in physical, nutritional, and emotional stress. 

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Peter Lind

Dr. Peter Lind has written five books about healthy lifestyle and specifically subjects such as food, diet, nutrition, exercise, and stress. He has written one thriller about agriculture genetic engineering that has been written into a screenplay. 

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