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Editor's Correspondence |

Physicians' Health Practices Are Better Than Patients’

Erica Oberg, ND, MPH; Erica Frank, MD, MPH
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(12):1155-1156. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6512.
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The recent analysis by Helfand and Mukamal1 of the preventive and health promotion activities of health care workers (HCWs) brings important attention to this topic, but their interpretation of the data seems predetermined and inconsistent with previous findings.

As noted, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System item “Do you provide direct patient care as part of your routine work?” creates an extremely heterogeneous sample. The authors claim that this workforce, because of higher health literacy and education, should have superior adherence to health-promoting and preventive behaviors (which has indeed been shown repeatedly among physicians).2,3 However, they have not differentiated between HCWs without formal health care training or advanced education and physicians or others with much more training. In addition to the differences in education and income (reported in the second model), there are other meaningful differences among this mixed cohort, including access to health care services, especially preventive services.4

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Correspondence

June 24, 2013
Kenneth Mukamal, MD; Benjamin Helfand, MSc
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(12):1155-1156. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.7405.
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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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