While the vast majority of physicians backed President Bush in the 2004 election, his support among the profession has dropped so sharply that 55% of doctors now disapprove of the way the administration is managing healthcare policy, according to a new national poll.
Meantime, about 61% of doctors believe that the healthcare system has "major problems," and more than one in every four think it's in a "state of crisis," according to the poll by HCD Research, Flemington, N.J., and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion.
"In the studies that we conducted during the 2004 presidential election, physicians expressed overwhelming support for President Bush," said Christopher Borick, associate political science professor at Muhlenberg, a liberal arts college in Allentown, Pa. "However, these results indicate that physicians' support is eroding, particularly in the area of healthcare policy."
Physicians are divided just about down the middle on whether they believe there is a legitimate threat of an Avian bird flu pandemic in the U.S., the poll found.
About 45% of the respondents said they feel the threat is real, while 44% say it is not justified. The poll of 662 physicians, conducted Nov. 12-14, also found that about 39% of doctors believe that Bush is allocating the proper amount of money to deal with the potential for a pandemic, while some 29% believe more money should be spent on the issue.
About 23% of respondents said Bush is spending too much money on the issue, and approximately 7% had no comment.