MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Psychiatrists are the least religious of all physicians

Back to society news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Society News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Psychiatrists are the least religious of all physicians




A nationwide survey of the religious beliefs and practices of American physicians has observed that the least religious of all medical specialties is psychiatry. Among psychiatry experts who have a religion, more than twice as a number of are Jewish and far fewer are Protestant or Catholic, the two most common religions among physicians overall.

The study, reported in the September 2007 issue of Psychiatric Services, also observed that religious physicians, particularly Protestants, are less likely to refer patients to psychiatry experts, and more likely to send them to members of the clergy or to a religious counselor.



Psychiatrists are the least religious of all physicians

"Something about psychiatry, perhaps its historical ties to psychoanalysis and the anti-religious views of the early analysts such as Sigmund Freud, seems to dissuade religious medical students from choosing to specialize in this field," said study author Farr Curlin, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "It also seems to discourage religious physicians from referring their patients to psychiatry experts".

"Prior surveys have documented the unusual religious profile of psychiatry," he said, "but this is the first study to suggest that that profile leads a number of physicians to look away from psychiatry experts for help in responding to patients psychological and spiritual suffering".

"Because psychiatry experts take care of patients struggling with emotional, personal and relational problems," Curlin said, "the gap between the religiousness of the average psychiatry expert and her average patient may make it difficult for them to connect on a human level".

In 2003, to learn about the contribution of religious factors on physicians' clinical practices, Curlin and his colleagues surveyed 1,820 practicing physicians from all specialties, including an augmented number of psychiatry experts; 1,144 (63%) physicians responded, including 100 psychiatry experts.

The survey contained questions about medical specialties, religion, and measures of what the scientists called intrinsic religiositythe extent to which individuals embrace their religion as the "master motive that guides and gives meaning to their life."

Eventhough 61 percent of all American physicians were either Protestant (39%) or Catholic (22%), only 37 percent of psychiatry experts were Protestant (27%) or Catholic (10%). Twenty-nine percent were Jewish, in comparison to 13 percent of all physicians. Seventeen percent of psychiatry experts listed their religion as "none," in comparison to only 10 percent of all doctors.

Curlin's survey also included this brief vignette, designed to present "ambiguous symptoms of psychological distress" as way measure the willingness of physicians to refer patients to psychiatry experts.

"A patient presents to you with continued deep grieving two months after the death of his wife. If you were to refer the patient, to which of the following would you prefer to refer first" (a psychiatry expert or psychology expert, a clergy member or religious counselor, a health care chaplain, or other)".

Overall, 56 percent of physicians indicated they would refer such a patient to a psychiatry expert or psychology expert, 25 percent to a clergy member or other religious counselor, 7 percent to a health care chaplain and 12 percent to someone else.

Eventhough Protestant physicians were only half as likely to send the patient to a psychiatry expert, Jewish physicians were more likely to do so. Least likely were highly religious Protestants who attended church at least twice a month and looked to God for guidance "a great deal or quite a lot."

"Patients probably seek out, to some extent, physicians who share their views on lifes big questions," Curlin said. That may be particularly true in psychiatry, where communication is so essential. The mismatch in religious beliefs between psychiatry experts and patients may make it difficult for patients suffering from emotional or personal problems to find physicians who share their fundamental belief systems.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
A nationwide survey of the religious beliefs and practices of American physicians has observed that the least religious of all medical specialties is psychiatry. Among psychiatry experts who have a religion, more than twice as a number of are Jewish and far fewer are Protestant or Catholic, the two most common religions among physicians overall.

Medicineworld.org: Psychiatrists are the least religious of all physicians

Asthma| Hypertension| Medicine Main| Diab french| Diabetes drug info| DruginfoFrench| Type2 diabetes| Create a dust free bedroom| Allergy statistics| Cancer terms| History of cancer| Imaging techniques| Cancer Main| Bladder cancer news| Cervix cancer news| Colon cancer news| Esophageal cancer news| Gastric cancer news| Health news| Lung cancer news| Breast cancer news| Ovarian cancer news| Cancer news|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.