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article imageU.S. Physicians Who Are Religious No More Likely to Treat The Poor

By KJ Mullins     Jul 31, 2007 in World
Doctors who are religious in the United States are no more likely to treat the poor than doctors who ar secular. Dr. Farr Curlin, of the University of Chicago, did a study and was somewhat surprised by the results.
The study was reported in MSN.Com on Tuesday.
“I was curious about whether doctors who are more formed in their religious beliefs are more likely to take care of patients who are poor,” said Curlin, whose study appears in the Annals of Family Medicine.
Curlin considers himself a religious man. He and colleagues at Yale mailed out surveys to 1,820 practicing doctors. They received 63% back.
The researchers ranked “intrinsic religiosity” a on various questions on the role that religion played in the lives of the doctors. There were questions on how often they attended services and to what part they believed that the practice of medicine was a calling.
They found that was was no difference in the amount of care regardless of how religious a doctor was for those that tended to be poor, uninsured or on Medicaid, the federal program for the poor.
“It suggests, I think, that when doctors are making the connection between being people of faith and the practice of medicine, that connection does not seem to lead them ... to an added commitment to caring for the underserved,” Curlin said.
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