Doctors Who Smoke

Doctors who smoke. I don’t get it.

When my family moved out to the country, there was one doctor in the whole town. Whenever we passed by his office we would see him and his assistants standing outside smoking. They were basically chain-smokers it seemed. It annoyed my mother to no end, but since he was the only doctor in town we all had no choice but to get our check ups from him.

It seems kind of inconceivable to me a doctor would smoke, much less chain smoke, but actually he’s not the only medical practioner I’ve met who smokes. I’ve met probably six or seven nurses and physicians assistants who smoke at least on social occasions.

So what gives? I can only guess…

  1. They’re around the dead and dying all the time, and start to see life as inevitably fragile. They figure they might as well enjoy themselves while they can. Or,

  2. They compartmentalize their understanding of medicine and their desire to feel pleasure, just like all smokers do but to a much greater degree (especially in the case of surgeons and surgical nurses who might see the effects of smoking up close and personal). Or,

  3. They want to stop but are too addicted.

So what do you guys think?

I don’t know, is it really more appalling than anyone else smoking? By now basically everyone knows smoking can kill you, and yet lots of people do it. They probably do it for the same reasons those other folks do.

See my second reason.

Have you ever been a smoker?

One of its (many) hooks is the belief that it acts as stress relief (though it doesn’t). When we try to quit we start to tell ourselves things like “I could get so much done if only I could smoke”, or “How am I supposed to face [random slightly scary responsibility] without a cigarette?”.

For doctors, that hook is multiplied. If they are stressed out, people could die. Meanwhile, knowing exactly what it’s doing to them is itself a big source of stress … which makes them smoke more.

It’s a subtle trap. I haven’t found a way out of it yet.

I agree it’s very wrong, more wrong for doctors – who are supposed to be intelligent and well-educated and concerned with health – than for others. And I’d also prefer to see a doctor who doesn’t smoke.

But the reason is simple. They’re too weak to quit. They’re addicted.

Lots of professionals have substance abuse problems. Many attorneys are disciplined and disbarred for problems that are obviously linked closely to substance abuse. Although addicts make excuses and rationalize, that’s all they are – excuses. The fact is, they may be successful in some areas of their lives and a failure in others, like all of us.

And, it’s my understanding that you live in the southeast part of hte US, which to my understanding has higher rates of smoking and obesity than the rest of the US. In general the population there, I understand, is less healthy than, say, in California, and that carries over to some members of the population who happen to be docs.

My brother is a doctor who smokes. You nag him about it he will just tell you to try doing his job.

I don’t see why it’s more wrong? So what if they don’t practice what they preach, they know the risks as do most smokers, it’s still a legal drug. It’s not like they’re shooting up in front of you.

I think it’s a used as a pacifier for stress, I think you’ll also find that doctors drink heavily and probably do lots of other things that you wouldn’t agree with.

See the research on drinking below:

egms.de/en/gms/2005-3/000025.shtml

So long as they do their job properly i don’t care what they do in their free time. Smoking is the least of your worries.

smoking doctors are alike to kiddie fiddling priests,they do the opposite of what they preach and the opposite of what they were meant to do in the first place.

Smoking is very bad. We all know that. The Doc’s know that.
Known it for decades.
Why do they continue to do it?
Because they want to do it. And they are not ready or willing to assume the responsibility for the effects of withdrawl when they quit.

When I was a wee lad our family Doctor was, as I later learned, a drunk. He was a good General Practitioner and a very leaned man. Well read in philosophy, art and politics as well as medicine. But he drank. We always scheduled appointments with him for the morning hours. He advised us that his afternoons were…" Occupied with his 'research"…his nurse/assistant just bluntly told us that he was usually in no condition to make diagnoses after 3 p.m.
That was his choice for his life.

He was also a family friend. He died at age of 92.

It inspired me to revise my opinion of the old adage “There are more old drunks than old Doctors.”

Life is weird sometimes.

First of all, smokers are addicted to nicotine. The only reason for smoking is to get your fix, and stop the body’s craving for nicotine. Problem is, as smokers we usually don’t think that way. We think smoking helps us in our lives, for example when there is stress, we need to relax, or we need to reward ourself with something. Doctors are often under a lot of stress, dealing with difficult situations all the time, having to make tough decisions. It’s just natural that they look for something that can help them. As nicotine addicts smoking cigarettes helps them, but it only helps them dealing with the craving for nicotine, not with job-related stress or anything else. The irony of the whole situation is that the nicotine addiction is self-inflicted by starting to smoke cigarettes in the first place, which creates the never-ending circle of smoking-withdrawal-smoking-withdrawal… Once a smoker realizes that he’s hooked on nicotine only and that cigarettes provide nothing else but a whole bunch of negative side effects, it’s time to stop smoking and enjoy life without cigarettes.

Well put hannes.

But that’s still just an excuse. The reality is he’s an addict. All addicts make excuses.

At the end of the day, everyone is who they are before and after they got the title of their current position. I get that it’s a bit hypocritical of a doctor to be a smoker, but I also get they’re human and need to have some kind of vice.

Smoking is immoral. All people who smoke, are, em, murderers. Er, no. Just stupid. Fat doctors, too. Think of the children.

Are you sitting down? I know coppers that smoke dope. Straight up. Oh, I feel a Daily Mail column coming on.

edited (because I was pissed): Smokers are evil. They pay shitloads of tax and die too early to get it back via pensions. Oh, and non-smokers’ deaths don’t cost the country anything. They die for free.

Well put hannes.

But that’s still just an excuse. The reality is he’s an addict. All addicts make excuses.[/quote]

Rather sanctimonious, don’t you think? Isn’t there just a little hint of The Moral High Horse there? A slight touch of Hubris? If he were addicted to apples would it elicit the same response from you?

It is hard to listen to the opinion of a doctor who smokes, just like you’d find it hard to trust a teacher who can’t spell, or go to a barber with a shitty hair cut, or hire a fat physical trainer.

It’s a hypocratic oath, not a hypocritic oath.

[quote=“TomHill”]It is hard to listen to the opinion of a doctor who smokes, just like you’d find it hard to trust a teacher who can’t spell, or go to a barber with a shitty hair cut, or hire a fat physical trainer.

It’s a hypocratic oath, not a hypocritic oath.[/quote]

well blimey!!!

when’s the last time you seen a decent haircut on one of them effeminate fucks??

Well put hannes.

But that’s still just an excuse. The reality is he’s an addict. All addicts make excuses.[/quote]

Rather sanctimonious, don’t you think? Isn’t there just a little hint of The Moral High Horse there? A slight touch of Hubris? If he were addicted to apples would it elicit the same response from you?[/quote]

No, I don’t think it’s sanctimonious at all. I’m just telling it like it is. I’m not saying he’s a bad person for smoking. I’m not saying I wouldn’t enjoy his company or wouldn’t have him for a friend (or a doctor). I’m just saying addicts always make excuses for their habit. As a former addict (with other addicts in the family, like most of us) I know.

“I deserve this because I worked hard all day.” “I need this because I have a stressful job/wife/husband/whatever.” “This helps me to be more creative.” “So what, everyone has vices.” “Just a little won’t hurt (and a little more later and a little more later).” “I know I do a lot, but I can quit anytime, I just don’t want to now” Whatever. They’re mostly just excuses by people who know they should quit or cut back but can’t. As I said, I’m not judging them for that – I know first hand how tough it can be. Just stating the facts.

And like smokers don’t chip in for people who embibe? Truth be told I’m sick of people who jump all over smokers for their habits and fail to do the same toward people who drink. Oh right, drinking doesn’t kill or harm as much. :unamused:

My uncle was an emergency room physician. He was also overweight. His being overweight, of course, did not make him a less knowledgable and capable doctor. If he had been a smoker instead of being overweight, I believe the same would still apply. Humans are replete with contradictory behavior. (And when did being learned suggest one was a more perfect human being?) We are not the rational animal of Aristotle. Anyway if you have a problem with doctors who smoke then simply choose another doctor.