Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Howard Pearson

Second Advisor

David Spiro


PREVALENCE OF OVERWEIGHT RESIDENT PHYSICIANS AND YEAR OF TRAINING Maya Roberts, Mark R. Zonfrillo, Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, James Dziura and Sunkyung Yu, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, New Haven, CT, and David Spiro, Department of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland, OR. (Sponsored by Howard Pearson, Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine). Post-graduate clinical training has numerous implications for the health of resident physicians. The primary goal of this study is to monitor the health of resident physicians by year of training through measurement of body mass index (BMI), blood pressure (BP), and health-related behaviors. This is a cross-sectional study of 375 resident physicians and longitudinal follow-up of 93 of the resident physicians at two training centers. Resident physicians were enrolled at the onset of each post-graduate year (PGY) of training in 2006, 2007, and 2008. BMI and BP were measured, and questionnaires on eating habits and physical activity were administered. Controls from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were selected using 1:1 matching for age, gender, ethnicity, and years of education. A greater percentage of resident physicians were overweight (BMI greater than or equal to 25) at the beginning of PGY3 than at PGY1 (49% versus 30%, OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.19-4.28, P=0.01). Longitudinally enrolled resident physicians were more likely to be overweight at PGY3 than at PGY1 (OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.17-4.62, P=0.02). The average diastolic BP of resident physicians was higher at PGY3 than at PGY1 (79.7 (SE 1.32) versus 76.8 (SE 0.79), P=0.04). Eating habits and physical activities were not mediators of change in BMI. However, there were several significant trends. Overweight resident physicians were more likely to have high-risk eating habits than non-overweight resident physicians. Nearly half of overweight resident physicians (43%) described themselves as "normal weight." The mean BMI of resident physicians was lower than that of matched controls on entering residency, but the magnitude of this difference decreased significantly by program year (P for interaction=0.02). Post-graduate clinical training appears to be associated with an increased prevalence of overweight status among resident physicians.