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Most Doctors Believe In God

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Decades of studies have shown that the most educated and the richest of the general population are much less likely to believe in God. According to a recent survey, that doesn’t apply to doctors. Seventy-six percent of doctors said they believed.

Most Doctors Believe In God

Interestingly enough, though, only 59 percent believe in an afterlife, according to the survey conducted by the University of Chicago’s Dr. Farr Curlin. Fifty-five percent said religion influenced how they practiced medicine.

“We did not think physicians were nearly this religious. We suspect that people who combine an aptitude for science with an interest in religion and an affinity for public service are particularly attracted to medicine. The responsibility to care for those who are suffering, and the rewards of helping those in need, resonate throughout most religious traditions,” said Curlin.

This representation is not as strong throughout all practices, however. Family practitioners and pediatricians were far more likely to be religious than those in other areas of medicine. Psychiatrists and radiologists bottomed out the list at 36 percent and 27 percent respectively.

Dr. Curlin thinks psychiatry may be especially nonreligious because of the nature of the profession.

“Psychiatry is the medical specialty that comes closest to being a complete explanatory framework for life. It can make sense of the powerful range of human experience in non-religious terms,” he said.

The results were compared with data collected from 1998 General Social Survey, which shed light on the religiosity of the general population of the United States.

Turns out doctors may be more religious than the average citizen. While 81 percent of the general population attends religious services at least once a month, 90 percent of doctors surveyed attended.

There was a marked split however with the specific religion of doctors. Eighty percent of patients say they are either Catholic or Protestant. Only 60 percent of physicians described themselves as such.

Fourteen percent of doctors were Jewish, compared to two percent of the US, five percent were Hindu, compared to less than one percent, and three percent were Muslim, compared to less than one percent.

Of the religious doctors, Christian, Mormon, and Buddhist doctors were more likely carry over their religious beliefs into their practice.

Most Doctors Believe In God
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