[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 13, 1967

Factors That Influence the Public's View of Medical Care

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY. The authors were medical students when this communication was prepared. Dr. Apostle is now with North Carolina Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill, and Dr. Oder is with Mount Sinai Hospital, New York.

JAMA. 1967;202(7):592-598. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130200078013

The study was performed to assess on a probability sample the attitudes of households in a large metropolitan community towards medical care and the medical profession. These attitudes were correlated with the frequency of use of various medical facilities, age, sex, and socioeconomic status. The respondents' perceptions of personal physicians, emergency departments, and the profession were found by factor analysis to be independently related. Personal physicians were viewed much more favorably than the profession. Women differ markedly from men in their view of a personal physician and the profession, ie, women have more positive views about their own doctor the more they see him, which is not true for men; at the same time a woman's view of the profession decreases the more she sees her personal physician. An attempt to identify nonusers of medical care revealed that the nonuse is primarily related to socioeconomic factors.