Physicians are more ethical and have higher moral standards than other types of professionals, according to a new poll of executives at major U.S. companies.
In a survey from information technology staffing firm Robert Half International, Menlo Park, Calif., 31% of executives in human resources, finance, marketing, information technology and operations name physicians as having the highest moral standards in the workplace among five types of professionals. The 150 executives queried are from some of the 1,000 largest firms in America, Robert Half officials say.
IT professionals polled a close second, with 30%, followed by accountants at 20%, lawyers at 5% and investment bankers, who were chosen as most ethical by only 1% of the 150 respondents. Another 8% say none of the five professions stands out in terms of ethics, while 5% are undecided.
Robert Half did not ask the executives to justify their answers, so there is no way to determine if recent scandals in accounting and investment banking weighed on the results, according to spokesperson Joel Dibble.
"The executives were only asked which are most ethical. Nobody's saying any are unethical," Dibble says.