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Practicing Health Promotion: The Doctor's Dilemma

Marshall H. Becker, PhD, MPH; and Nancy K. Janz, PhD, MS
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The University of Michigan School of Public Health
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029


Ann Intern Med. 1990;113(6):419-422. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-113-6-419
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Why have physicians been slow to integrate disease prevention and health promotion into routine clinical practice? Despite published guidelines, professional exhortations, and patient expectations, many physicians devote insufficient attention to implementing available prevention technologies and educating patients about modification of behavioral risk factors (1-6). The lost potential for health enhancement and disease prevention is considerable: Many persons visit a physician at least once in any given year; in surveys, physicians are cited by the public as the best and most reliable and credible source of health information; and much research has documented physician effectiveness (with minimal time and effort expenditure)

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