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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

What's up, Doc?

This is interesting, and I find it somewhat surprising:

You might have supposed that trust in the medical profession would have risen as medicine became more effective at warding off death and disease, but you would have been mistaken. In fact, precisely the reverse has happened throughout the western world, but particularly in the United States. Half a century ago, nearly three quarters of Americans had confidence in the medical profession qua profession; now only about a third do so.

According to international surveys reported in an article in a recent New England Journal of Medicine, Americans are among the most mistrustful of doctors of any western people. Asked whether, all things considered, doctors in their country could be trusted, 58 percent of Americans answered in the affirmative; by contrast, 83 percent of the Swiss answered positively. Positive answers were returned by 79, 78, and 76 percent of the Danish, Dutch and British respectively. Americans were 24th of 29 nations polled in their trust of doctors. Furthermore, just fewer than half of Americans in the lowest third of the income range thought that doctors in general could be trusted, and younger Americans were also less likely to trust their doctors than older ones.

Curiously enough, though, Americans were among the most satisfied of nations with their last encounter with their doctor.

Maybe I'm just projecting, because I've always had more faith in my doctors than almost anybody else I encounter. They tell me to do something, I damn well do it. Since, curiously, most people were "satisfied with their last encounter with a doctor," this may be one of those general-specific dichotomies. People say they hate Congress but seem to like their own representatives. They think public education sucks but like their own kids' teachers.

Don't you suspect faith in doctors will go down even further once they're fully sucked into the web of Obamacare and have very little say over how they treat their patients? Considering how little they already have, being smacked around all the time by insurance companies, I predict a long period of deep depression for the medical profession.