Medicine: Patients Diagnose Doctors

The American Medical Association looked in the mirror of a public-opinion poll to see what the U.S. thinks of its doctors. To nobody's surprise, the A.M.A. concluded that doctors stand comfortingly high in public esteem.

Only 82% of the 3,000 people polled have a regular family physician, but of those who do, 96% think well of him. Commonest criticisms: he thinks he is always right (23%), he is hard to reach for emergency calls (19%), he keeps patients waiting longer than necessary (15%), and he is not frank enough about their illnesses (15%).

When it comes to physicians other than the regular family...

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