Mary Pat Frintner, MSPH,1 Elizabeth Schott, MA,1Ashley M Brunelle, MD2

1Research, American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove, United States 2Dartmouth-Hitchcock Concord, Concord, United States  

Presented at the April 2013 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting.

Background: Good health is important for physicians both personally and professionally, but little is known about their health.  

Objective: Compare self-reports of pediatrician sleep, exercise and general health status to the U.S. population, and examine relationships between pediatrician characteristics and their sleep, exercise and health.  

Methods: As part of the AAP study PLACES, we analyzed survey data from physicians recruited into 2 cohorts: 1) recent graduates: 1-3 years post-residency; 2) early career: 8-10 years post-residency.  We asked about exercise, sleep and health using the same questions asked in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).  Chi square compared the proportion of pediatricians reporting a) 7+ hours sleep/24-hour period, b) federal exercise guidelines=150 minutes/week moderate-intensity, 75 minutes/week vigorous-intensity, or an equivalent combination of both activities, and c) very good/excellent health to U.S. proportions (sleep and exercise: 25-44 year olds, 2008 and 2010 NHIS data, respectively; health: 18-44 year olds, 2010 NHIS data).  Chi square tested relationships between participant characteristics and sleep, exercise and health.  

Results:  93% of recruited physicians completed the survey (n=1786).  Most participants report: 7 or more hours of sleep (74%), meeting exercise guidelines (67%), and very good/excellent health (73%).  Compared to national proportions, participants are more likely to report 7 or more hours of sleep (74% vs 69%, p<.001), meeting exercise guidelines (67% vs 53% p<.001), and better health (73% vs 71%, p<.05).   Some differences between physician characteristics and sleep, exercise, and health emerged, see Table.

Self-Reported Physician Health


 Early career pediatricians report more sleep and exercise and slightly better health than the adult U.S. population.  PT and post-training physicians report more sleep and better health than those working FT and in fellowship training, respectively.