Honesty Ratings of Pharmacists Second Only to Nurses!

Three fourths of Americans rated the honesty and ethical standards of pharmacists as “very high” or “high” in Gallup Inc.’s recent poll of the public’s perceptions of various professions. The pharmacy profession finished in second place in the poll, right behind the honesty rating of nurses.
Congress Retains Low Honesty Rating - Nurses have highest honesty rating; car salespeople, lowest
PRINCETON, NJ -- One in 10 Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of Congress as very high or high. This puts the lawmaking body second lowest on a list of 22 professions measured -- higher only than car salespeople.
These results are from Gallup’s Nov. 26-29 update of the perceived honesty and ethical standards of professions. Survey respondents rated each profession on a five-point honesty and ethical scale ranging from “very high” to “very low.”
Americans’ views of the 22 professions tested vary widely -- extending from the 85% who rate nurses’ ethics and honesty as very high or high to a low of 8% rating car salespeople the same.
Among Politicians, State Officials Outperform Federal
Members of Congress have never fared well in the 36 years of these ratings. The high point for congressmen and congresswomen came in November 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when 25% of Americans rated their honesty and ethical standards as very high or high. Last year’s 7% honesty rating for members of Congress was the lowest on record.
Senators and state governors receive slightly higher honesty ratings than members of Congress do, as is typical. The highest honesty rating for senators was 25% in November 2001. State governors were not rated in 2001, but their highest rating was 31% in 2000.
Members of Congress (54%) have the dubious distinction of having the largest “very low”/”low” rating of any profession tested this year -- higher than car salespeople (49%) and senators (45%).
Nurses Outperform Medical Doctors
Six medical professional categories were included in this year’s update. Nurses’ high rating this year is not unexpected; they have scored at the top of all professions every year since they were first included in the list in 1999 -- apart from 2001, when Gallup asked about “firefighters” on a one-time basis after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Nurses receive a 10-percentage-point higher rating than pharmacists, who in turn are five points above medical doctors.
The honesty ratings of all of these medical professions are at the highest levels in Gallup’s history, albeit by slim margins. Doctors’ 70% honesty rating this year is the same as last year’s, but up from as low as 47% in the mid-1990s. Nurses are now up one point from their previous high, and pharmacists are two points higher than their previous record. Pharmacists routinely topped the list before Gallup began including nurses.
Americans give dentists honesty ratings of 62% this year -- slightly lower than doctors, pharmacists, or nurses, but tied with their 2006 high score. Psychiatrists (41%) and chiropractors (38%) have lower ratings still, although both are above the median rating for the 22 professions tested and are at their highest levels in Gallup history. Psychiatrists, who are also medical doctors, have been measured separately in Gallup’s honesty and ethics ratings going back to 1976.
Implications
These ratings technically measure Americans’ perceptions of the honesty and ethical standards of various professions, but most likely stand for an overall, broad assessment of the image of each profession tested. As such, the results continue to be bad news for politicians, who remain in the bottom half of the list, particularly including members of Congress -- who this year are better than only car salespeople.
These ratings are in line with other indications showing the low esteem in which politicians are held, including a generally negative image of the “federal government,” and continuing low congressional job approval ratings.
These data hold better news for members of the medical profession -- particularly nurses, who have topped the list all but once over the last 13 years. Pharmacists and medical doctors also do well, and both of these professions equaled or exceeded their previous high points this year.
Americans also appear to have a growing appreciation for engineers, at least as far as perceptions of their honesty and ethics are concerned.
Please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields – very high, high, average, low, or very low? 
Sorted by % very high/high (Gallup, Nov. 26-29, 2012) 
  %Very high/ High % Average %Very low/ Low
Nurses 85 12 3
Pharmacists 75 21 3
Medical doctors 70 26 4
Engineers 70 25 3
Dentists 62 33 4
Police officers 58 32 10
College teachers 53 34 10
Clergy 52 33 9
Psychiatrists 41 43 11
Chiropractors 38 46 11
Bankers 28 48 24
Journalists 24 45 30
Business executives 21 50 27
State governors 20 48 31
Lawyers 19 42 38
Insurance salespeople 15 49 36
Senators 14 39 45
HMO Managers 12 52 27
Stockbrokers 11 48 39
Advertising practitioners 11 50 36
Members of Congress 10 34 54
Car salespeople 8 43 49
Back to Articles