Nurses, pharmacists and medical doctors retain 1, 2, 3 ranking in public's assessment of professional honesty and ethics

Annual Gallup poll shows a slightly rising ranking for most professions

The annual Gallup/USA Today poll of professional honesty and ethics shows little change from recent years: nurses are No. 1, with 85% of the public rating their standards “very high” or “high;” pharmacists are No. 2, at 75%; and medical doctors are No. 3, at a 70% rating. Gallup notes that all of these medical professions are at their highest level in Gallup’s history, having moved up a few percentage points over the past few years; however, medical doctors were rated as low as 47% in the mid-1990s.

Steven Anderson, president of the National Assn. of Chain Drug Stores, took the opportunity to state that the survey “further emphasizes that pharmacists truly are the face of neighborhood healthcare, serving as accessible healthcare providers with nearly all Americans living within five miles of a community pharmacy.”

Even so, pharma marketers might play closer attention to the uniformly high scores of nurses (some of whom are prescribers, in some states). Especially with complex specialty pharmaceuticals, where administration and monitoring of side effects can be issues, patients might be more inclined to listen to what the nurse is saying ahead of the doctor.

But what do we know? Journalists are well down the list for honesty and ethics, at 24% (a decline of a couple percentage points from the year before). Meanwhile, car salespeople retain the bottom-most rung, at 8%, just a couple percentage points behind members of the US Congress.