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Physicians rate involvement in public roles as important

Physician Practice Advisor, November 22, 2006

Approximately two-thirds of physicians participate in activities such as community outreach, political involvement, and collective advocacy, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers analyzed survey data from 1,662 U.S. physicians in three primary care specialties-internal medicine, family practice, and pediatrics-and three nonprimary care specialties-general surgery, anesthesiology, and cardiology. More than 90% of respondents said it is important for physicians to have a public role. More than half regarded community participation and collective advocacy to be very important, and more than one-third regarded individual political involvement to be very important.

Nutrition, immunization, substance abuse, and road safety issues were rated as very important by more physicians than were access-to-care issues, unemployment, or illiteracy.