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December 4, 1967

Physicians' Attitudes Toward Venereal Disease Reporting: A Survey by the National Opinion Research Center

Author Affiliations

From the State (Colorado) Department of Public Health, Denver (Dr. Cleere); State of New Jersey Department of Health, Trenton (Dr. Dougherty); Division of Communicable and Venereal Diseases, (Massachusetts) Department of Public Health, Boston (Dr. Fiumara); Venereal Disease Department, Oregon State Board of Health, Portland (Dr. Jenike); VD Control Section, City Health Department, Philadelphia (Dr. Lentz); and Bureau of Epidemiology, Illinois Department of Public Health, Springfield (Dr. Rose).

JAMA. 1967;202(10):941-946. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130230067011

Six public health departments in the United States contracted with the National Opinion Research Center in Chicago to conduct a study concerning the attitudes of 6,000 physicians toward reporting ten medical conditions. Attitudes toward reporting two of the ten conditions, syphilis and gonorrhea, were analyzed to determine why physicians do not report and who among them are the most guilty. The results of the survey indicate there are not two kinds of physicians: those who faithfully report each veneral disease case they treat and those who consistently fail to report. Though there are some physicians in each of these categories, the majority exercise their professional judgment in each case and, on the basis of a multiplicity of factors, decide to report some patients and not to report others.