Which medical professionals do Americans trust to give general wellness advice?
May 31st, 2024, Clifton Mark

Which medical professionals do Americans trust to give general wellness advice?

Of the many kinds of medical specialists, which do we rely on for general wellness care? A recent Self-serve survey by YouGov examines who Americans believe are qualified to counsel them on wellness.

The most trusted are physicians, who 71% of consumers believe are qualified, and nurse practitioners, who 57% would consult for general wellness. Nurses are not far behind at 54%.

However, Americans are less inclined to trust specialized medical workers with their general questions. Only about a third say that psychiatrists (33%), dentists (33%) and pharmacists (32%) are qualified. A small proportion of Americans (6%) say that none of the listed medical professionals are qualified to give general wellness advice.

While physicians are most often seen as qualified to give wellness advice by virtually all demographic groups, there are significant differences in how likely members of different groups are to trust medical professionals.

Women, for example, are more likely than men to say that physicians (75%), nurse practitioners (61%) and physician assistants (57%) are good general wellness advisors.

Age also matters. Older people are more likely to trust most kinds of medical professionals when it comes to wellness. Among Americans aged 55 and older, 87% say physicians are qualified compared to only 52% of those aged 18-34. Older respondents are also more than twice as likely to say that nurse practitioners (74% vs 30%) and physician assistants (68% vs 31%) are qualified.

To take the extremes of age and gender groups, 90% of women 55 years and older believe physicians are qualified compared to only 45% of men between 18-34.

There are other general differences. When it comes to education, Americans who did not go to college are less likely to trust types of medical professionals with wellness advice than the national average, and those who’ve had a post-graduate education are likelier than average trust all but dentists and psychiatrists.

Americans who are in relationships are more likely than single people to trust physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

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YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online in March, 2024, with a nationally  representative sample of 1181 adults (aged 18+ years) in the US, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, race, gender, education, and region to be representative of all adults in the US (18 years or older), and reflect the latest population estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.