Medscape Medical News
Dec 06, 2012
Medical professionals are among the most trusted people in the United States, a new Gallup survey shows, with 85% of survey respondents ranking nurses highest for honesty and ethics, followed by pharmacists (75%) and physicians (70%).
The 2012 sampling was conducted via telephone November 26 through 29 among 1015 people aged 18 years and older in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey results, published December 4, have a margin of error of ±4 percentage points and a confidence interval of 95%.
The poll asked respondents, “Please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields — very high, high, average, low, or very low?” A list of 22 professions was then provided in random order to each person contacted. Spanish-speaking respondents were interviewed in Spanish.
Nurses, who have led the rankings for 11 consecutive years, were ranked “high” or “very high” for honesty and ethics among 85% of respondents. The survey has been conducted annually since 1976, and nurses were first included in 1999.
“This poll consistently shows that people connect with nurses and trust them to do the right thing,” said American Nurses Association President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, in an association news release. The only time nurses were not first on the list was 2001, after the terrorist attack of September 11, when firefighters ranked first. Firefighters have not been included in polling in any other years.
Engineers tied with physicians for third place, ranking 70%, followed by dentists at 62%, police officers at 58%, college teachers at 53%, and clergy at 52%. Psychiatrists ranked eighth, at 41%, and chiropractors ninth, at 38%, followed by bankers (28%) and journalists (24%).
At the very bottom were car salespeople, with 8% ranked high or very high, and members of Congress, at 10%.