Health Care the Most Trusted Profession

Nurses, pharmacists and doctors top Gallup's annual "honesty and ethical standards" poll.

    • December 18, 2011

Health care professionals—nurses, pharmacists and doctors—are the most trusted professions in the United States, according to a Gallup poll released last week. The annual survey asks Americans to rank the honesty and ethical standards of those in 21 professions. The three medical professions captured the top three spots in the survey, with nurses again leading the way.

Nurses have topped the list every year since they were included in 1999, with the exception of 2001 when firefighters were included on a one-time basis following the September 11 attacks. This year, 84 percent of Americans rated nurses as having “very high” or “high” honesty and ethical standards. This is the fourth year the public has given nurses a vote of confidence that high.

Pharmacists also tied their historical high, with 73 percent of respondents rating them “very high” or “high.”

Medical doctors reached a new high this year with 70 percent of Americans ranking them highly.

At the bottom of the list were: car salespeople, lobbyists and Members of Congress, with 7 percent each.

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 2011, with a random sample of 1,012 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digital-dial sampling.