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Do physicians follow their own wellness advice?

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Most doctors know the right advice to give to help patients lead healthy and happy lifestyles, but how many of them follow their own advice? Medscape recently released their Physician Lifestyle Report 2014, which took a look at just this question.

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If you are picking a specialty and your health and happiness are the most important factor, you may want to look no further than dermatology. Overall, dermatologists report being the happiest both at home and at work. According to the survey, 70 percent of dermatologists say they are happy with their home lives, and 53 percent are happy or very happy at work as well.

More than 60 percent of both male physicians and female physicians report being very to extremely happy at home, and 40 percent report that level of happiness at work.

Interestingly enough, dermatologists are also least likely to be overweight, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only eight percent of all physicians are obese, but approximately 34 percent are overweight. Family physicians are the heaviest overall. Interestingly, more men than women report being overweight, which stands in contrast to the general population.

Whereas 17 percent of overweight physicians say they eat at fast-food chains, only 11 percent of physicians who are at healthy weights do the same. As expected, healthy or underweight physicians are more likely than overweight physicians to eat five or more servings of fruits or vegetables at least four times per week. Forty-four percent of overweight physicians also report that they eat a typical American diet that includes daily meat and foods that are high in fat and non-nutritional carbohydrates.

According to a 2012 Gallup poll, about 58 percent of all physicians exercise at least three times of week, compared with 54.7 percent of the general population, and a full third of all physicians report never having a drink.

Since health and happiness seem to come hand in hand, it is important to learn to love where you land and spend most of your days. Click here to read about physicians whose plans didn’t go exactly as planned, but who were able to make the most of where they ended up.

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