Blogging at 35000 Feet: Physician Heal Thyself!

Well here I am again with extra time on my hands while sitting on the connecting flight back home. I spent the day with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine and had a great time talking about Good Mood Bad Mood, depression and bipolar disorder.
But, now that is done and it’s time to blog.

I generally go looking for a good medical article on a subject that interests me from a biblical counseling perspective. This time I was confronted with an article that asks an important question about doctors. Are we overweight? Do we, the guardians of all that is healthy, actually do the things that we tell our patients to do? Or, are like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day that placed huge burdens on the backs of men that they would not lift a finger to move themselves?

Well, in an article published on Medscape this week, it would appear that physicians are probably better at telling people what they ought to do, than doing it themselves. Of all physicians practicing in the United States, Family physicians come in second in the derby to be the most overweight only beaten out by general surgeons! And, when it comes to diet, guess what! Most of us eat just like you do; badly.

This has special meaning to me as I went to see the doctor myself a week ago. (Please none of the “did you see him in the mirror jokes" now!) And, I had my blood drawn. That of course was where the problem began. I am known as runningdoc on twitter and I have spent the last 44 years religiously running so that I could be less obsessed with what I eat. My labs were not terrible. I am not diabetic, but the results ended my long standing love affair with concentrated sweets.

I can hear the words to that well practiced lecture that I have given thousands of times to other folks. Yes, Mr. Soandso, your glucose is up just a bit and it isn't terrible but it is just like those rumble strips on the highway. You don't want to take this any farther. So, all the foods that I have lived on are mostly gone. The cookies, pie, candy, cake, ice cream, French fries are off the menu.

I suppose that means there is at least one doctor out here is suffering right along with his patients.  It will be good for me. At least that is what I keep telling myself while I miss the coconut cream pie. It will make me a lot more sympathetic when I hand that next patient an 1800 calorie no fun, no frills diet.

So while I sat in the Atlanta airport tonight waiting on my delayed flight and pondering the merits of all things sweet, I ate a granola bar and pretended it was coconut cream pie. And, I think about Hebrews 12:11. “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

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