Tuesday, 09 Dec 2008, 10:13 PM EST
Photo credit: Darwin Bell | Creative Commons License
By LILY FU
A new survey finds that doctors might be more spiritual that you might think.
In a national study conducted by HCD Research with 1,134 physicians, a majority (72 percent) believe that miracles have occurred in the past, and 70 percent believe they can occur today. Additionally 69 percent believe that religion is a necessary and reliable guide to life.
The study was conducted among doctors from various religious backgrounds, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Scientologist and those with no religious affiliation at all.
While many of the physicians said that religious text should be more metaphorically translated than literally translated, prayer played a big part in their lives. Seventy percent reported that prayer is either somewhat important or very important in their personal and professional lives, and 66 percent of physicians indicated that they encourage their patients to pray.
In their daily practice, only 43 percent of doctors believed that their medical practice should be guided by religious moral teaching. The majority of physicians (71 percent) believe that very little or none of the outcome of medical and surgical treatment of their patients is related to the "supernatural" or "acts of God."
The most liberal members of their religion include Roman Catholic and Jewish physicians with 80 percent and 78 percent respectively claiming to be liberal members of their religion rather than literal believers. In contrast, the religion with the most literal believers includes Protestant physicians, with 84 percent reporting that prayer was either somewhat or very important in their personal and professional life closely followed by 80 percent of Roman Catholics.