MDs second on honesty scale, lawyers and politicians lag
A recent Gallop poll indicates that Canadians still consider physicians to be among the country's most honest and ethical professionals. The survey, conducted in March, revealed that more than 60% of respondents rated the honesty and ethical standards of physicians as either high or very high. Pharmacists/druggists were the only professionals deemed more trustworthy than physicians, with 68% of respondents giving them a high or very high rating.
An honesty and ethics score was calculated for each profession based on the percentage of high/very high responses minus the percentage of low/very low answers. The scores for pharmacists and physicians were +65 and +56, respectively. Engineers followed with a score of +46; police officers scored +45. Journalists and lawyers both had negative scores of -3 and -11, respectively. This marked the first time that journalists have not received a positive score, but lawyers have not been on the positive side of the ledger since 1987. Members of Parliament and labour union leaders shared the worst score, -22. Only 14% of respondents rated the honesty and ethical standards of MPs as being high or very high.
Assessment of honesty and ethical standards, by profession
Profession High/very high (%) Net score
- Pharmacists/Druggists 68 +65
- Doctors 62 +56
- Engineers 50 +46
- Police officers 53 +45
- University teachers 45 +39
- Clergy 44 +32
- Accountants 37 +30
- Public opinion pollsters 28 +17
- Business executives 21 +5
- Journalists 21 -3
- Lawyers 19 -11
- Real estate agents 15 -12
- Advertising executives 14 -16
- Members of Parliament 14 -22
- Labour union leaders 15 -22
Source: Mar/ 18-23, 1999 Gallop Poll, Gallop Canada Inc.