Survey: Patients Want Physicians to Lead Their Care, Express Confusion Over the Qualifications of Health Care Professionals

For immediate release:
Jan. 26, 2011

Chicago - Education and training matter when it comes to who provides patients health care, but many express confusion over the qualifications of different health care professionals. New survey results announced today by the American Medical Association (AMA) show that although 83 percent of those surveyed want a physician to have primary responsibility for their health care, many are confused about the qualifications of health care professionals.

"A physician-led team approach to care with each member of the health care team playing the role they are educated and trained to play is key to ensuring patients receive high quality care, and most Americans agree," said AMA Board Member Rebecca Patchin, M.D. "Although 90 percent of those surveyed said that a medical doctor's additional years of education and training are vital to optimal patient care, the survey found much confusion about the qualifications of health care professionals."

The survey also finds that 87 percent of respondents would support legislation that requires health care advertisements to clearly designate the qualifications of the health care professional promoting their services. The Healthcare Truth and Transparency Act of 2011, introduced today by Representative John Sullivan (R-OK) and Representative David Scott (D-GA), does just that. In an effort to help alleviate confusion, this legislation prohibits misleading and deceptive advertising by health care professionals. Several states have already enacted similar legislation, including Arizona, Illinois and California.

"The Healthcare Truth and Transparency Act would help provide clarity in health care advertisements and marketing," said Dr. Patchin "Patients deserve clear and accurate information to make informed decisions about who they choose to provide their care."

Baselice & Associates conducted a telephone survey among 850 adults nationwide between November 4-8, 2010. The overall margin of error is +/- 3.4 percent at the 95 percent level.


Lisa Lecas
AMA Media Relations
[email protected]