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A doctor’s role in society is unique. Over years, medical science has advanced; publics’ expectations have changed; recent
pandemic challenged it. Doctors’ face is blemished by accusations. An online survey was done to analyze the change in the
attitude and respect of the public towards doctors. For this a questionnaire was forwarded through WhatsApp contacts.
Data was extracted to an excel sheet and analyzed. The cohort (n = 328) included both doctors (34.1%) and non-doctors
(65.9%). Non-doctors comprised of the general public (47.3%) and people who worked with doctors (18.6%). Overall, 93.3%
of those surveyed agreed that “doctors deserve respect”. More doctors (89.3%) as compared to non-doctors (39.4%) (p < 0.001)
perceived a reduction in respect towards doctors. On an objective scale (0-10), respect had reduced from an average of
8.55 to 6.76 over 10 years; doctors felt steeper reduction (8.68 to 5.42 [p < 0.05] than non-doctors [8.48 to 7.46 [p < 0.05]).
Among doctors, 64.3% opined that “doctors’ profession should be considered as service”, while 49.1% agreed that “doctors’
profession can be a business model”. A portion of the public, agreed that medications (61.3%) and investigations (56.1%)
were prescribed/advised only when necessary. An important reason for reduction in respect was the perception that the
“medical profession is run as a business model” (16.8%). Respondents other than doctors, when given an opportunity,
wanted to practice ethically (19.4%).