Survey Finds Doctors Likely to Come from Religious Minority Groups

August 5, 2005

Source: Beliefnet

Wire Service: RNS

On August 5, 2005 Religion News Service reported, "Physicians are often every bit as religious as their patients, but what they believe is apt to be quite different, according to a new survey. That's because a disproportionate percentage of physicians come from religious minority groups, according to University of Chicago research published in the July issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Data came from responses to a 12-page questionnaire, which researchers had mailed to a random sample of 2,000 physicians practicing in the United States. Among the findings, physicians proved to be 26 times more likely to be Hindu than the overall U.S. population (5.3 percent of doctors vs. 0.2 percent of non-physicians), the survey found. They are seven times more likely to be Jewish, six times more likely to be Buddhist and five times more likely to be Muslim. Across the board, 55 percent of doctors said their religious beliefs influence how they practice medicine, but researchers are still asking questions about how that happens... Among those who answered the Chicago survey, Christian, Mormon and Buddhist doctors were the most likely to affirm the statement, 'My religious beliefs influence my practice of medicine.' Jews and Hindus were the least likely."