I have advised people for many years to visit health care practitioners who look healthy and who practice healthy habits. Why? Integrity is one major issue, but also the type of advice you’ll get from a doctor in excellent health is most often quite different from the advice you’ll get from an overweight couch potato who doesn’t think diet and lifestyle are important.
The New York Times featured an article that documented this very point. The article, in the January 2018 edition, featured athletes who had visited doctors who were and were not athletic. According to Dr. Ronald Davis, President of the American Medical Association, a doctor who is physically active is more likely to provide advice on exercise that will be meaningful to patients. He cited a study by Dr. Erica Frank at the University of British Columbia involving 4000 subjects that showed that those doctors who performed some regular exercise were more comfortable advising patients about exercise.
Doctors who are athletic are far less likely to tell patients to discontinue physical activity when they are injured or sick. The Times article featured interviews with several athletic individuals who were given advice such as to find a sport other than running in response to a knee injury; to stop exercising due to atrial fibrillation and a cold; and to avoid running marathons because doing so destroys cartilage.
I have personally experienced this in response to my back injury. I was repeatedly told by physicians not to exercise, lift weights, etc., in order to not aggravate the injury. In fact, aggressive exercise was a major part of the plan that eventually healed the injury and has resulted in total elimination of pain.
This certainly does not mean that every doctor who is not athletic is incompetent and gives bad advice, or that athletic doctors are always right. But it just makes common sense to seek the counsel of individuals who seem to have their act together in the area in which you are seeking their advice. I would not, for example, want to hire a CPA who had been in prison for tax evasion, and, using that same line of reasoning, would not want to hire an overweight, out of shape doctor to tell me how to stay healthy.