COVID-19 shifts Americans' view of physicians: 5 things to know

The COVID-19 pandemic may be changing Americans' opinion of physicians, though it has done little to change their view of health insurers and drug companies, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The poll, which was conducted from July 14-19, included a nationally representative sample of 1,002 adults. Results from the poll were compared to a 2005 NBC/Wall Street Journal survey on the same topic.

Five things to know:

1. More Americans today think physicians are most interested in working for the good of the public than did 15 years ago. In the most recent survey, 36 percent of respondents said physicians had the public at heart, while 17 percent said the same in 2005.

2. However, more Americans today think physicians are both in it for the public good and making a profit (54 percent in 2020 versus 49 percent in 2005). 

3. While data wasn't taken in 2005 about the public's opinion of nurses, 60 percent of Americans said in 2020 they believe nurses are mostly interested in public good.

4. Opinions around insurance companies didn't change in the 15-year span. Seventy-six percent of respondents said insurers are "mostly interested in making a profit" in 2020 and in 2005. 

5. The same results were recorded for drug companies: 76 percent of respondents said the companies were profit-driven in 2020 and in 2005.

Read the full results here.

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