Frederic C. McDuffie, MD
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McDuffie FC. Encouraging Physical Activity. Ann Intern Med. 1998;128:605-606. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-128-7-199804010-00033
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;128(7):605-606.
TO THE EDITOR:
I heartily endorse Andersen and colleagues' message in the article on the physician's role in encouraging patients to become more physically active . The authors provide evidence for the medical benefits of regular exercise and provide useful advice for physicians in getting their patients to cooperate in such programs. Only in the last sentence, however, do they refer to one of the most important elements in persuading patients to follow such a program-the physicians' own commitment to such a program themselves.
I am a 73-year-old physician in full-time active practice who runs 35 miles a week, works out for 45 minutes four times a week in the weight room, and runs 15 to 20 road races each year. There is no doubt in my mind that my ability to keep working at a high level depends on the fact that I do exercise regularly, maintain my weight, and have a full corps of energy. As a result, I am encouraged to, and am able to, preach to my patients about the virtue of exercise, to question them regularly as to how they are doing in keeping up their promises to me, and in helping them find a level of exercise that fits their particular ability. This is a special problem because I am a rheumatologist and most of my patients have musculoskeletal conditions or pain that limit what they can accomplish. Nonetheless, I am gratified that the many patients who can cooperate admit to benefit.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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