Monday, September 03, 2007
Atheists Get Their Heads Examined
While PZ is enjoying the new poll numbers indicating that up to a quarter of the American public may be, as PZ put it, "a freethinker of some sort," there is another poll concerning the religious attitudes of physicians. According to a new study, psychiatrists are the least religious of all physicians and the most religious physicians, perhaps unsurprisingly, are more likely to refer patients to a clergy person than a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Seventeen percent of psychiatrists reported "none" for religion compared with 10 percent of other doctors.
Overall, Protestant physicians were only half as likely to send the patient to a psychiatrist than other doctors and the least likely to do so were highly religious Protestants who attended church at least twice a month and looked to God for guidance "a great deal or quite a lot."
As Dr. Farr Curlin, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and the study author said, "Patients probably seek out, to some extent, physicians who share their views on life's big questions," including, no doubt, religion or lack thereof.
So, deeply religious people are more likely to get a referral to a clergy person than a psychiatrist compared to other people? Hmmm ...