Which Physicians Are the Most Overweight?

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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In the most recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report on obesity, about 35% of the US population is obese.

For those of us in primary care, obesity is the new tobacco and we have several conversations a day about lifestyle changes for weight loss and exercise. We can talk the talk . . . but do we walk the walk? These facts were surprising to me:

  •  34% of physicians are overweight.

  •  Which specialty is the most overweight? General surgeons report being the most overweight physicians, with 49% confessing to being overweight to obese. Yipes. Maybe the surgeons have the least amount of time to exercise, hmmmm.

  •  Family physicians follow closely with 48% being obese.

  •  Which docs are the least obese? This may not be surprising as many of these docs are involved in “cosmetics:” dermatologists are the least heavy, with less than a quarter of them (23%) being obese.

  •  The second place winner for the “least obese” are the eye doctors. Only 29% of ophthalmologists are obese. They have a great lifestyle, they have great hours and make good money.

  •  Fast food. In a recent Gallup poll, 80% of Americans report eating out at a fast food restaurant at least monthly and half eat fast food at least weekly (yipes). Of the heavier physicians more eat fast-food compared to “healthier weight” physicians. No surprise there.

  •  What physicians are happiest? Dermatologists and eye doctors (ophthalmologists) are most content at home, with 70% saying they are content. Dermatologists are the happiest at work.

  •  The least happy doctors at work are emergency medicine (I think that’s because they don’t really form relationships with their patients) and family physicians (the least money I think).

  •  Exercise. Fifty eight percent of physicians exercise 3 or more times a week. Ok, that’s good. The heavier physicians exercised less, no surprise.

Interesting, no?

Dr O.

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