A recent survey shows that Americans hold doctors in a much more favorable light since the pandemic. The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll between July 14 and July 19 and found that more than twice as many people thought that doctors are working in the best interest of the public than they did in a similar survey in 2005.
A full 36% of respondents said they felt doctors were working for the good of the public, while 10% of those polled said that physicians were mainly interested in profit. In 2005, 31% believed doctors were more concerned about money, while only 17% thought physicians worked altruistically. However, about half of those surveyed in both polls said they believed that doctors had both interests equally at heart.
According to Axios, nurses fared a lot better in the public’s opinion. In the 2020 survey, 60% of respondents thought that nurses were mostly motivated by caring for the public good.
Pharmaceutical companies were at the bottom of the barrel in the view of respondents with a mere 4% saying the companies care primarily for the welfare of the public. Research has shown that people who are older tend to trust doctors more than younger adults. A study by the Pew Research Center last year revealed that 65% of those over the age of 65 said they believe doctors care about their best interests all or most of the time, compared to 49% of younger people.
Experts said that one of the reasons public opinion of the medical profession is higher than it was 15 years ago may be that many physicians and scientists are visible on national and local TV helping us navigate the coronavirus pandemic, thus enhancing their image.
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