.- Researchers were surprised to discover that a majority of physicians in the United States are religious. The results fly in the face of claims that science and faith can’t mix. Some of the survey results were released in the press last week. According to a report by NewsMax.com, 76 percent of the 1,044 doctors surveyed nationwide said they believe in God, 59 percent said they believe in some sort of afterlife, and 55 percent said their religious beliefs influence how they practice medicine. Sixty percent are Christian and 14 percent are Jewish.
More doctors than other scientists believe in God. Previous studies suggest that fewer than half of U.S. scientists believe in God.
Still, physicians came in lower than the general population, 83 percent of which say they believe in God.
Dr. J. Edward Hill, president of the American Medical Association, said religion and medicine are compatible. Belief in "a supreme being ... is vitally important to physicians' ability to take care of patients, particularly the end-of-life issues that we deal with so often," he reportedly said.
The study will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.