Opinion: Doctors need to regain patients’ trust. Nurses can help them do that

From the moment I first stepped into a hospital ward, nurses taught me how to be a good doctor. They can teach all of us how to regain the trust…
A nursing class in 1942. Source: Library of Congress

Physicians, once among the most trusted professionals in the United States, now face a credibility crisis. Only one-third of Americans say they have a great deal of trust in physicians, down from around two-thirds in the 1970s. This lack of trust is leading to a burgeoning appetite for medical misinformation, causing many Americans to avoid vaccines and cholesterol-lowering statins.

To quell this rising tide, I believe that my physician colleagues and I should learn from in America for 16 straight years: nurses. In a national Gallup poll, 82% of Americans rated nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “high” or “very high.” These data are an incredible recognition of the most compassionate people in the health system.

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