Physicians' Changing Attitudes About Striking

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Abstract

Both interns and residents and practicing physicians express substantial support for physicians' organizing for collective bargaining and striking. These findings, from 1146 respondents to a 1976 survey of the alumni of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, indicate that profound changes have occurred in physicians' views on these issues. Although the greatest support for striking came from interns and residents, with 67 per cent of them indicating they think physicians should be allowed to strike, the survey found an increasing pattern of militancy commencing with 1964 graduates. Physicians in private practice and those who spent two-thirds or more of their time in direct patient care were the most likely to support strikes by physicians (60 per cent), while the least support came from those fulltime on medical school faculties (39 per cent). No differences in support for striking were found in relation to sex, religion or size of community in which physicians practice. A longitudinal examination of the medical school Class of 1975 at matriculation, at graduation and during internship training reveals that a major growth of support for striking occurred between matriculation and graduation.

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