BACKGROUND: In the 1990s the primary focus of medicine was shifted to disease prevention. Accordingly, it became the responsibility of primary-care physicians to educate and counsel the general population not only on disease prevention specifically but health promotion generally as well. Moreover, it was, and is still today, considered important that physicians provide positive examples of health-promotion behaviors to patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate physicians' health-promotion behaviors and to identify the factors that influence them. METHODS: We conducted a postal and e-mail survey of the 371 members of the Physician Association of Cheonan City between May 16th and June 25th, 2011. The questionnaire consisted of 18 items, including questions relating to sociodemographic factors, screening tests for adult diseases and cancer, and health habits. RESULTS: There were 127 respondents. The gender breakdown was 112 men (88.2%) and 15 women (11.8%), and the mean age was 47.8 years. Fifty-nine (46.4%) were family physicians or interns, and 68 (53.6%) were surgeons. Twenty-six percent (26%) were smokers, and 74.8% were drinkers; 53.5% did exercise; 37% had chronic diseases; 44.9% took periodic cancer screening tests, and 72.4% took periodic screening tests for adult diseases. CONCLUSION: It was found that general characteristics and other health-promotion behaviors of physicians do not affect physicians' practice of undergoing periodic health examination.