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Doctors lead international ‘most trusted’ profession poll


Jolyon Attwooll


13/10/2021 3:58:37 PM

Faith in doctors has risen even higher since the pandemic began, seeing the profession overtake scientists for the first time.

A doctor and patient standing and talking.
There has been a positive shift towards doctors since the pandemic.

Doctors are the most trusted professionals internationally, according to the results of a poll released this week.
 
The survey, carried out across 28 countries by the market research firm Ipsos MORI, took a sample of 19,570 adults aged 16–74 who collectively ranked doctors the most trusted profession in the company’s Global Trustworthiness Index.
 
The results represent a positive shift towards doctors since the spread of COVID-19 across the world, as scientists had finished ahead in the rankings in the previous versions of the survey.
 
Australia is among the countries where faith in doctors was highest, with 67% of respondents ranking the profession as trustworthy.
 
RACGP President Dr Karen Price told newsGP the results are testament to the hard work doctors have put in during the pandemic, building on the high regard the profession traditionally has.
 
‘Doctors play a crucial role in the lives of so many people, whether or not we are in middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, but COVID-19 has made that even clearer,’ she said.
 
‘This year, people have trusted GPs in Australia to deliver almost 17 million vaccine doses so far, with many more to come – as well as delivering the day-to-day long-term care of patients, often in very challenging circumstances.
 
‘Being chosen as the most trusted profession is worthy recognition of the vital work we do. We are very honoured and thank our patients for the enormous trust placed in our profession.’  
 
A number of countries, including Australia, provided 1000 respondents to the poll, while others only had 500 people contributing.
 
The highest trust levels in doctors were found in Great Britain at 72%, with the lowest found in South Korea (38%) – significantly below anywhere else.
 
Ipsos MORI say that trust in doctors went up noticeably in several countries in the most recent poll, which caused doctors to be elevated to the top place for the first time since the study began.
 
‘While many professions’ positions have barely shifted over the last few years, one notable impact during the pandemic has been a boost to the standing of doctors, moving them above scientists who were the top profession in previous waves,’ the company’s summary of the survey results reads.
 
‘On average, almost two-thirds of those in 22 countries which have been studied over the three waves rate [doctors] as trustworthy [64%], an increase of seven percentage points since 2019 and nine points ahead of their score in September 2018.
 
‘By contrast, the proportion saying the same about scientists has stayed at about six in 10 across all three years [61% in 2021].’
 
As well as scientists, teachers also ranked highly, while in several countries the Armed Forces scored well – particularly in India, where they are viewed as the most trustworthy of all professions. 
 
GPs are often rated among the most trusted members of the community.
 
A national survey in 2019 put GPs as the most ethical professionals with whom Australians are in close contact. Another recent study from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported 94.6% of patients as saying their GP showed respect for what they had to say.
 
The recent Ipsos MORI poll results had few surprises in the least trusted professions, with politicians coming lowest for trustworthiness at 10% globally – below advertising executives (15%) and bankers and journalists (23% each).
 
Argentinean respondents showed the most cynicism about the motives of their political class with just 3% of those who participated rating their elected representatives as trustworthy compared to 20% in Australia. 
 
The interviews for the survey, which was released this week, took place online in April and May this year. See detailed results of the 2021 Global Trustworthiness Index here.

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Dr Amer Nabi   14/10/2021 7:23:01 PM

Is there any short and most appropriate course for prescribing medicinal cannabis? I would like to read and implement medicinal cannabis into my practice for treating the chronic pain