It's ironic that the year we, both new medical students, moved across the street from the nation's best hospital and began learning how to manage the health of others is the same year we stopped taking care of our own. It was a year of ups and downs.
As our physical activity and
Fortunately, many of us know how threatened our society is by these lifestyle-associated chronic diseases. Pick up the paper and you'll read headlines about New York
According to recent studies, an astonishing 63 percent of male physicians and 55 percent of female
According to a paper published in Obesity earlier this year, physicians with a normal
These findings are the foundation for The Patient Promise, a grass-roots initiative we've launched this month at the
Nearly 400 current and future clinicians from 38 institutions across the country have committed to the patient promise, which recently was featured in The Atlantic. Our goal is for at least 1,000 students and health care providers to sign on to the promise by the end of the summer.
The Patient Promise symbol, two interlocking gold Ps on a navy shield, provides awareness and accountability when worn as a lapel pin on a clinician's white coat or badge. Intended to promote conversation in which patients can ask doctors, nurses and others about their efforts to adopt healthy lifestyles, we hope this will help patients to see them not as disciplinarians but as partners on a shared journey toward better health. The clinicians, having embarked on this journey as well, are better able to understand the challenges of implementing healthy behaviors in their patients' lives, and will be able to offer more credible and practical advice based on their own experiences. Together, patients and their care providers can thwart the advance of lifestyle-associated chronic disease in America.
More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates recognized the importance of healthy lifestyle behaviors when he wrote, "Let thy food be thy medicine" and "Walking is man's best medicine." These sage words are still relevant today. Thus, as future health care providers, we challenge ourselves, our peers and our clinician counterparts to lead by example. In doing so, we embrace Hippocrates — not hypocrisy.