It seems that the old adage ‘trust me, I’m a doctor’, is still ringing true in the UK despite suggestions to the contrary, as a survey by market research group Ipsos MORI has found that doctors still top the list of trusted professions.

For 25 years running, the Ipsos MORI survey - commissioned by the Royal College of Physicians – has revealed that the general public finds doctors to be the most trusted professionals. And, in this year’s survey, over 90% of 2,029 respondents said they believe doctors ‘can be trusted to tell the truth’, beating teachers (87%), professors (79%) and judges (78%).

The findings seem to go against speculation that the public’s distrust of the medical profession is growing, and show that confidence remains high despite negative press surrounding the National Health Service. As Sir Robert Worcester, Founder of Ipsos MORI, commented: "It is a media myth that people are losing trust generally, and specifically that they are losing trust in doctors. In 1983, 82% said they trusted doctors to tell the truth; now this is up ten points, to 92%.

Retaining trust
But commenting on the findings, Professor Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, said while they are “reassuring for the medical profession, there is no room for complacency”.

“The trust of patients in the modern world has to be earned and retained, and we can do this only by carefully reviewing the changing needs of patients in all aspects of their care,” he stressed, and highlighted the “timely provision of information” and the “involvement of patients in a true partnership in decisions about their treatment” as particularly important.