Loading...

AP-NORC Poll: Americans Have High Trust in Doctors, Nurses

August 10, 2021by Emily Swanson and Tom Murphy, Associated Press
AP-NORC Poll: Americans Have High Trust in Doctors, Nurses
Medical personnel prepare to prone a COVID-19 patient at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans have high trust in doctors, nurses and pharmacists, a new poll finds.

Researchers say that trust could become important in the push to increase COVID-19 vaccinations, as long as unvaccinated people have care providers they know and are open to hearing new information about the vaccines. 

At least 7 in 10 Americans trust doctors, nurses and pharmacists to do what’s right for them and their families either most or all of the time, according to the poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll shows high levels of trust among both Democrats and Republicans; men and women; and white, Black and Hispanic Americans.

When people get treatment or a service from a doctor or a nurse, they start building trust and then tend to return to those providers when they need more help or have questions about a health issue, said Michelle Strollo, a senior vice president in NORC’s Health Research Group.

“Public health officials should really look to doctors, nurses and pharmacists to be the megaphone to deliver the message of the importance of getting vaccinated,” she said. 

Polling from the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation in June also showed people trusted doctors for information about the vaccine more than other sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert.

COVID-19 case levels are soaring across the country, driven by a highly contagious virus variant that mostly infects unvaccinated people, according to public health experts. President Joe Biden and others have pleaded with Americans to get the shots. 

The COVID-19 vaccines have been widely available since spring, and the CDC reports that 71% of U.S. adults have received at least one dose. 

Recently retired cardiologist Paul Vaitkus said he encouraged many of his patients, some of whom have been seeing him for years, to get the vaccine due to their health conditions. He thinks they listened to him.

“As a doctor, my patient knows me and they sized me up eye to eye,” the 62-year-old Gurnee, Illinois, resident said. “They know that I’m honest.”

Care providers could help encourage people to get vaccines, but the country’s fragmented health care system presents an obstacle. 

Vaccination rates are low among the uninsured, noted Liz Hamel, director of public opinion and survey research for Kaiser.

“Those are the same people who are less likely to be in regular health care, to have those interactions with doctors and providers,” she said. 

The same holds true for younger adults, who also have low vaccination rates. They are less likely to see a doctor regularly or get preventive care like annual checkups.

Plus, just getting someone into a doctor’s office or drugstore offers no guarantee that the patient will become vaccinated.

Hamel noted that attitudes toward the shots have become so politicized that people who trust a doctor to give them advice about other issues may not be open to hearing more about the vaccines. 

“I think some people, based on politics, have completely closed off,” she said.

Doctors earn broad trust from the American public, and a slim majority are in favor of federal funding for increasing the number of doctors, according to the AP-NORC poll. But only about 2 in 10 support government funds for increasing doctors’ pay. Half of Americans say doctors are paid about right.

However, most Americans, including majorities of both Democrats and Republicans, think nurses and health care aides are underpaid.

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the U.S., the poll finds no significant shifts in opinions about health care policies, including the Affordable Care Act, a single payer health system or a public option.

___

Murphy reported from Indianapolis.

___

The AP-NORC poll of 1,071 adults was conducted from June 10 to June 14. It used a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

In The News

Health

Voting

Opinion Polls

January 7, 2022
by Dan McCue
Americans Growing More Concerned Over National Debt, Peterson Survey Finds

WASHINGTON — With the nation’s debt standing at a record $29 million, a growing number of Americans are growing increasingly... Read More

WASHINGTON — With the nation’s debt standing at a record $29 million, a growing number of Americans are growing increasingly concerned that unsustainable federal spending will upend the economy and ultimately, their personal well-being, finds a new analysis from the nonpartisan Peter G. Peterson Foundation. According... Read More

January 4, 2022
by Dan McCue
Survey Finds Farmer Sentiment Rising on Strengthened Financial Position

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A monthly measure of farmer sentiment rose last month, something it had only managed to do... Read More

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A monthly measure of farmer sentiment rose last month, something it had only managed to do once before in all of 2021, according to Purdue University's Center for Commercial Agriculture and the CME Group. The two entities said Tuesday their Ag Economy... Read More

December 27, 2021
by Dan McCue
Chief Justice Roberts is America’s Top Federal Leader, According to Poll

WASHINGTON — Americans routinely tell pollsters they don’t like much of what goes on in the nation’s capital, but evidently... Read More

WASHINGTON — Americans routinely tell pollsters they don’t like much of what goes on in the nation’s capital, but evidently they do like one leader a lot – Chief Justice John Roberts. According to a poll conducted by the Gallup organization Dec. 1-16, he’s got the... Read More

November 24, 2021
by Dan McCue
Study Finds Significant Bipartisan Support for Corporate Social Responsibility

WASHINGTON — A new, groundbreaking study suggests not only is there strong bipartisan support for corporate efforts to address environmental,... Read More

WASHINGTON — A new, groundbreaking study suggests not only is there strong bipartisan support for corporate efforts to address environmental, social and governance challenges, but that the bipartisan appeal of these initiatives dramatically increases among Americans under the age of 45. The study, “Unlocking the Bipartisan... Read More

October 11, 2021
by Dan McCue
Americans’ Trust in Media Continues to Slide

WASHINGTON – Americans’ trust in the news media continues to plummet, dropping four percentage points from last year’s already low... Read More

WASHINGTON – Americans’ trust in the news media continues to plummet, dropping four percentage points from last year’s already low 36%, a new Gallup poll has found. The poll, which was released last week also found the media continues to be a decidedly politically polarizing issue... Read More

September 20, 2021
by TWN Staff
Voters Tell Pollster Out-of-Pocket Costs and Limits of Coverage Most Concerning Issue

Most voters in the district represented by Rep. Marilyn Strickland support fiscal responsibility and want Congress to take a bipartisan... Read More

Most voters in the district represented by Rep. Marilyn Strickland support fiscal responsibility and want Congress to take a bipartisan approach. Fifty-seven percent believe members of Congress need to work across the aisle to deliver results for their constituents versus 37% who believe it is more... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version