While doing bone mineral densities (BMDs) for Doctor's Health Day, we encounter one female physician (F-MD) with an unexpected very low BMD who did not have any obvious osteoporosis (OP) risk factors. We then wondered if the long hours of study and duty necessary to go straight through college, medical school, residency and directly into private practice were a risk factor for young F-MDs. We studied 36 F-MDs between the ages of 36 and 56, mean (M) age of 46 years, whose M Ht was 66 in (62-72), M Wt of 137.5 lbs (118-175), and 32 were white, 4 were Asian, and one Hispanic. 5/36 were menopausal, and 2 had fewer menses. No one smoked; there was only minimum use of alcohol, wine, coffee, colas, and only 3/36 took bone depleting meds. 28/36 had 1-6 children (M of 2); 56% took 1,000-1,200 mg of elemental calcium/d; did adequate and regular exercise (another 28% were ‘busy’), and only 3 persons were immobile for up to 6 months. 8/36 had a + FH of OP, 7/36 had a + FH of hip Fx, and 3/36 had Fxs themselves. 24/36 practiced OP prevention. 95% of F-MDs continued from high school into medical practice and worked for 5-23 (M of 13) years. The back BMDs for 3/36 F-MDs were below and 9/36 BMDs were above population norms. No specific cause was found for the 3/36 low BMDs. Likewise, no hip BMDs were below population norms, and 5 were above norms. We conclude that the continuous education process for F-MDs from high school directly into medical practice is not a risk factor for developing OP.
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