November 1988

Health Maintenance Activities of Physicians and Nonphysicians

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, UCLA School of Medicine (Dr Kahn); and the Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Worcester (Drs Goldberg, DeCosimo, and Dalen).

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(11):2433-2436. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380110079016

• Studying the health maintenance attitudes and behaviors of physicians (MDs) as patients provides information about health maintenance care in a group of individuals where preventive care might flourish. The present study reports the results of a survey of such attitudes and behaviors among 144 university-based MDs and 283 nonphysician doctoral faculty members (non-MDs) from two area universities regarding their personal health maintenance care in 1983. Respondents who reported having a personal MD (44% MDs, 74% non-MDs) were twice as likely to believe they should visit a physician regularly for health maintenance and three times as likely to actually visit a physician for health maintenance as those respondents without a personal physician. Both MDs and non-MDs described the need to visit the doctor more often than they actually reported doing so for health maintenance. However, MDs more often than non-MDs reported receiving the particular health maintenance procedures that are generally considered to constitute essential health maintenance care. A better understanding of health maintenance care by MDs and their non-MD colleagues provides insights into the use and misuse of clinical procedures in the asymptomatic adult.

(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:2433-2436)