Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Many U.S. Doctors Involved in Public Issues

Tuesday, November 21, 2006; 12:00 AM
TUESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Many American doctors believe it's important to take part in public activities such as political involvement, community participation and collective advocacy, according to a study in the Nov. 22/29 issue of theJournal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers at Harvard University, Boston, and the University of Melbourne in Australia looked at data collected from 1,662 doctors working in general internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, general surgery, anesthesiology, and cardiology.

More than 90 percent of the doctors regarded public roles as important and about two-thirds were actively involved in such pursuits, the researchers found. More than half the respondents felt that community participation and collective advocacy was very important, and more than one-third felt that political involvement was very important.
Nutrition, immunization, substance abuse, and road safety issues were rated as very important by more doctors than were access-to-care issues, illiteracy or unemployment.
A number of different personal, professional and practice characteristics influence the likelihood that a doctor will take part in public activities, the study found.
"These results indicate a high degree of consensus and previously undocumented willingness of physicians to engage in addressing U.S. public health concerns," the study authors wrote.
More information

There's more on how U.S. doctors are getting involved in public issues at the American Medical Association.
SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Nov. 21, 2006

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