"I enjoy working out at the gym," declares one profile. "To keep myself fit, I like to hike, bike and exercise," says another.
These comments aren't part of a dating site. Rather, they come from physicians' online profiles that prospective patients view when they are looking for a new doctor.
There are good reasons doctors might strive to lead by example. "I practice what I preach by living healthy every day," declares one physician on Kaiser Permanente's online doctor search portal. Patients may trust or be inspired by such a doctor, the thinking goes. And if health care professionals fail to follow their own advice, they may be accused of hypocrisy.
But for some patients, particularly those battling weight issues, a doctor's declarations of personal fitness may not have the intended effect of attracting new patients. Instead, rather than inspiring them, it can drive them away.