Lege Artis Medicinae

[Physicians’ attitudes and suppositions in 2001 in the Polyclinic of the Hospitaller Brothers in Budapest]

BALÁZS Péter

AUGUST 20, 2002

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2002;12(08)

[INTRODUCTION - Following the total socioeconomic changes in Hungary in 1989, no scientific analysis has been made about physicians' religious attributes in the new circumstances. These attributes, after four decades of political anticlericalism may affect essentially the ideological and socio-economic patterns of medical professionalism. Hungary’s 2001 census favoured such an inquiry, since it went back to the traditional questions about religious affiliations. METHODS - The ”sensitive” questions ot the census were accepted without any obstacle in the whole population and backed up the present study together with the newly established religious atmosphere in the hospital of roman catholic Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God, which was reopened on the 1st of July, 2000. The collection of data started in November 2000 ending in December 2001. All 98 full time employed physicians participated in the inquiry carried out by personal interviews guided by the same 51 questions. Following more than half a century span, the aim of the present study was to gain measurable information about the doctors’ unknown religious affiliation and its impact on clinical problems with ethical dimensions. RESULTS - All the doctors cooperated willingly in face-to-face interviews. There was a high proportion of religious affiliation (83 persons out of 98) without any sign of mysticism in the professional values. However, the pre-eminent role of psychological factors in the healing process was stressed, opposed to the simplified materialism of medicine. The same ideological pattern was represented while ranking other professions in the social hierarchy. No physicians experienced a conflict between their religious belief and professional activity in the dayto- day service. CONCLUSION - According to the extremely underpaid medical profession in Hungary, doctors of the new hospital do not believe that now they should tolerate their underpaid status as altruistic missionaries. However, they know exactly that balancing professionalism and business of medicine, is not a task for a single hospital but an urgent one of the whole society.]

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