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West J Med. 1986 Apr;144(4):484-9.

Health habits and coping behaviors among practicing physicians.


Practicing physicians on the full-time academic and clinical (volunteer) faculty of an urban university department of medicine (N = 211) completed questionnaires that examined their coping behaviors, health habits, life satisfaction, job stress, conflict between work and home life, health status and moods. Attempts to organize and restructure work activities were more frequently practiced by physicians who were more satisfied with work. Socializing, exercising and discussing feelings with others were not associated with any measures of physician health status, job stress, conflict or satisfaction. Those with higher scores on a health habits index tended to be less anxious, experienced less job stress, less conflict between work and home life and were more satisfied with their lives in general. Full-time academic faculty engaged in fewer positive or negative coping behaviors than clinical faculty. There were few strong intercorrelations among the various positive and negative coping behaviors or health habits; physicians often simultaneously engaged in both positive and negative activities, indicating complex patterns of coping behaviors that were not dramatically associated with life or work satisfaction.

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