5,200+ physicians on the toughest ethical issues in 2018

Medscape surveyed more than 5,200 physicians in more than 29 specialties to discover how they feel about the ethical issues they face in the medical field.

The annual "Medscape Ethics Report 2018" surveyed physicians on key ethical issues concerning money, romance in the workplace and patients' well-being.

Here are six findings from the report:

1. Almost 3 in 4 of those surveyed (69 percent) said physicians should be required to get an annual flu shot if they are in direct contact with patient.

2. The majority of respondents (86 percent) said they would refer patients to physicians outside of their health system despite increasing pressure to keep referrals in-house.

3. Approximately 63 percent of those surveyed said they would not cherry-pick patients to avoid those with comorbid disease. However, 44 percent of plastic surgeons, 38 percent of orthopedic surgeons and 31 percent of orthopedists said "yes" to cherry-picking patients.

4. Among those surveyed, 72 percent of female physicians and 59 percent of male physicians said it is not acceptable to engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with a patient.

5. Roughly 39 percent of respondents said physicians should be subjected to random testing for drug and alcohol misuse, while 42 percent of those surveyed said they should not.

6. Medscape asked physicians to describe their toughest ethical dilemmas in open-ended responses. Among the responses were issues with vaccinations and moderating disputes between terminal patients and their families. One physician said their toughest ethical dilemma involved "trying to convince a parent their child needed treatment for meningitis, when the parent wanted to try homeopathic treatments. Hospital lawyer was involved; the parents went home; the child died."

To access the full report, click here.

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