Pharmacists Among Most Widely Trusted Professionals, Gallup Poll Finds

Aimee Simone, Assistant Editor
Published Online: Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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Pharmacists tied for second in the annual poll of the public’s trust in various professions, placing in the top 3 for the 11th year in a row.

Pharmacists remain among the most trusted professionals in the United States, according to the results of a poll released on December 16, 2013. In the annual poll conducted by Gallup, 70% of respondents said that pharmacists have high or very high honesty and ethical standards.
 
“We applaud pharmacists for once again achieving an impressive level of confidence and trust from the American public,” said National Community Pharmacists Association CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, in a press release.
 
“Americans continue to view their pharmacists as highly trusted and well-respected professionals as evidenced by this year’s Gallup’s Honesty and Integrity survey,” said National Association of Chain Drug Stores President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, in a press release. “Nearly all Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy. As the face of neighborhood healthcare, pharmacists are better serving patients through accessible, convenient, and personalized health care in partnership with other healthcare providers.”
 
In general, the poll results indicate that Americans trust health care professionals, as pharmacists, nurses, and medical doctors all received high honesty ratings. Health care professionals have consistently performed well in the rankings since the poll was first conducted in 1976.
 
This year’s rating for pharmacists is down from last year’s all-time high, when 75% of respondents said pharmacists had high or very high honesty and ethical standards. Nonetheless, pharmacists maintained their rank within the top 3 professions: a spot they have held for 11 consecutive years. Of the 22 professions included in this year’s survey, pharmacists tied with grade school teachers to rank second only to nurses, who received an honesty rating of 82%. Medical doctors ranked just below pharmacists, with 69% of respondents saying they had high or very high ethical standards.
 
In contrast, car salespeople, members of Congress, and lobbyists received the lowest ratings of 9%, 8%, and 6%, respectively. Members of Congress received the highest rate of very low and low ratings, 66%. These results are similar to those seen in previous years, suggesting that professional stereotypes and distrust of politicians have persisted over time.
 
This year’s poll was conducted from December 5 to 8, 2013, and included telephone interviews with a random sample of 1031 adults aged 18 and older who live throughout the United States. Respondents were asked to rate the honesty and ethical standards of different professionals as very high, high, average, low, or very low.
 
A majority of respondents (54%) said pharmacists have high standards, while 16% felt they have very high standards, 26% said they have average standards, 3% said they have low standards, and 1% said they have very low standards.
 
“The combination of their goodwill with consumers, extensive training, medication expertise, and easy accessibility has pharmacists perfectly positioned to play a larger role in the US health care system,” Hoey said in the NCPA press release. “Emerging new care models such as accountable care organizations should fully integrate pharmacists.”
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