ALTHOUGH ONLY one quarter of physicians reported complete abstinence in the past month, physicians who consumed alcohol reported drinking only twice a week on average, consuming less per episode of drinking than other women drinkers, and reported almost never drinking large amounts. The difference between physician and lay alcohol abstinence rates may reflect physicians' assessments of current scientific opinion on alcohol consumption (as well as their personal recreational preferences), since the contemporary medical literature17,18 generally supports the healthfulness of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption and the harmfulness of high consumption. A few small studies (N<300)11,19,20 and 1 large study16 of physicians have reported lower abstinence rates (<10% total alcohol abstinence) than we report. Hughes and colleagues16 found that only 6% of physicians abstained totally from alcohol, although 23% had not consumed alcohol in the past month. This suggests that the lower abstinence rates of our study, compared with those found for other surveys of physicians, may be a function of question structures, since neither BRFSS nor WPHS queried whether individuals ever drank alcohol, only whether they drank in the past month. Our rates could also reflect a temporal trend in physician drinking, since the other physician studies were conducted in the 1970s and 1980s. Alternatively, our rates may be a function of the sex of this physician population, since most studies of the general population, as well as the large study of drinking habits of physicians of both sexes, have found that women are more likely than men to abstain totally from alcohol use.16 Women physicians' diets were, in this limited examination, somewhat better than those of the general population of women and somewhat worse than those of other women of high SES. Subsequent analyses will examine these findings more thoroughly to determine in which dietary constituents women physicians fare particularly well or poorly, as well as the effects of such variables as ethnicity, marital status, specialty, and workload on diet. Both women physicians and other women of high SES consistently wear seat belts in a car.