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AMA: Patients Lack Education on Physician Credentials

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 26, 2011

• 16% of respondents said that an ophthalmologist is not a medical doctor and 13% said they were not sure.

• 54% of respondents think an optometrist is a medical doctor, while 6% are unsure.

• 68% of respondents said they think podiatrists are medical doctors and 11% said they were unsure.

• 78% replied "yes" when asked if anesthesiologists are medical doctors, while 19% said no and 3% were unsure.

• 69% of respondents said that they thought dentists are medical doctors.

• 31% said they believe chiropractors are medical doctors, and 6% said they were not sure.

The survey results also indicate that in the two years between these AMA surveys, the public's accurate distinction between those who have undergone medical doctor education and training and those who have not improved slightly. But in one case, the accuracy of responses worsened.

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