Medical Council News


Survey finds doctors the most trusted profession in Ireland

27th April 2011

New legal obligations from May to help maintain and build trust between patients and doctors

A survey released today (27th April, 2011) has found that doctors are the most trusted profession in Ireland, with 88% of adults trusting them to tell the truth.

The survey was conducted on behalf of the Medical Council by Millward Brown Lansdowne, in advance of the introduction of new legal requirements which aim to maintain and build trust between patients and doctors.  From May, all doctors have a statutory obligation to maintain their professional competence, by engaging in lifelong learning and skills development.  Doctors will be required to enrol in professional competence schemes (which will be operated by postgraduate training bodies) and fulfil requirements set by the Medical Council.

A nationally representative sample of 1,008 adults was asked to indicate if they trusted different professions.  After doctors, teachers (79%), professors (72%) and judges (71%) were found to be the next most trusted professions.  

Speaking today, President of the Medical Council, Professor Kieran Murphy said:  “Trust is the cornerstone of the relationship between patients and doctors. However, trust must be earned rather than accepted blindly. In safeguarding that trust, the Medical Council protects the public by ensuring that doctors are competent to practise.  From May, the role of the Medical Council is further strengthened by overseeing the new legal requirement of doctors to keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date.  The results of this survey are welcome and the enhancement of the role of the Medical Council will help to maintain and build trust in doctors in the coming years, while driving patient safety in Ireland.”

85% of people felt that doctors were doing their jobs well, while 93% were satisfied with the performance of the doctor they attend most often.

The survey, conducted before the general election, found TDs to be the least trusted profession (12%) followed by pollsters (25%) and business leaders (27%). 

Results of the survey can be downloaded below;
Medical Council Trust Survey.pdf


For further information contact:
Lorna Farren - Medical Council, Communications Manager – Professional Competence
Telephone: +353 1 4983173
Mobile: +353 87 913 0288

Note to editors:

The Professional Competence System

More information on professional competence schemes can be accessed by clicking here