Despite the onslaught of information about health matters in the media, a new survey finds that the vast majority of Americans -- 80% -- say they have never questioned their doctors' advice because it conflicted with something they saw on television or read in the newspaper. The survey, commissioned in the fall by the National Health Council and conducted by Roper Starch, queried 2,200 adults.
Though people get a lot of information about healthcare from the media, they still want the opportunity to interact with, and have a personal relationship with, their doctors, the survey showed.
In other words, Americans continue to hold their physicians in high esteem. And in this age when we are bombarded daily by sensational stories related to healthcare, people still turn to the one person who always will give them solid advice -- their doctor. So what message can healthcare professionals cull from these results? The physician-patient bond is very much alive, and its existence should be recognized by every healthcare organization. Whenever a decision is made that affects patient care, physicians must and should be represented. The understanding that physicians still hold the power of patient trust and respect will only improve an organization's chances of success with whatever business plan it is considering, be it a new project, acquisition or consolidation.
Other results of the survey also are interesting to consider.
But beneath all the new numbers are two time-tested conclusions: Good healthcare will always require the active involvement of concerned physicians. And patients will continue to hold their physicians in high regard.
Some things never change, Charles S. Lauer Publisher