Americans' trust in doctors keeps dropping
A new report from the Harvard School of Public Health finds that compared to other countries, Americans do not have much trust in the medical profession. The study concludes that the majority of people in the U.S. believe medical professionals are looking out for themselves and aren’t advocating for the good of public health.
For the study, the researchers analyzed dozens of opinion polls focusing on the public’s trust in doctors. The findings indicate that Americans see physicians as just another interest group among many. According to the report, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, only 34 percent of U.S. adults polled in 2012 said they had “great confidence in the leaders of the medical profession.” That’s dramatically lower than what the figure was in 1966–76 percent. Only Chileans, Bulgarians, Russians and Poles were less trusting of the medical profession.
While the report showed wide dissatisfaction with professionals in the public health arena, it also suggests that Americans largely remain satisfied with their personal physicians. The researchers said they hope reports like this inspire the medical community to take more stands on important issues, such as the cost of health care.