Physician perspectives on COVID-19: New survey results

By Paul Basilio, MDLinx
Published March 9, 2020

Key Takeaways

The number of confirmed US cases of COVID-19 has increased to 566, with 22 deaths. Positive or presumptive cases have been identified in more than half of US states. The number of confirmed cases worldwide is now 11,363. Globally, there have been 3,892 deaths, with 62,375 patients recovering after infection.

To better understand how COVID-19 is affecting how physicians practice medicine as well as local government response, M3 Global Research surveyed more than 3,000 healthcare practitioners and 700 patients across the United States, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. We've summarized the survey results below:

  • Overall, 63% of Italian doctors have confidence in their government’s preparedness to handle a widespread outbreak of COVID-19, compared with 58% in the United States and 49% in the United Kingdom. 

  • Confidence levels are higher at the practice level, according to the survey. In the United States, 67% of physicians feel prepared to handle a severe outbreak.

  • A sizeable percentage of doctors (33%) and patients (31%) in Italy consider the virus to be a severe threat, likely due to already widespread infections. In the United States, 42% of physicians believe the thread to be mild, while 40% believe it to be moderate. About half (44%) of all respondents believe the outbreak is a moderate threat.

  • On average, 21% of all respondents believe that closing schools would be an effective strategy. In Italy, however, 47% of respondents believe school closings are appropriate. In addition, 41% of all respondents believe international travel in and out of their respective countries should be suspended.

  • The most popular containment strategy is public education and awareness of infection prevention and control. More than 70% of all respondents are concerned about the media coverage surrounding the outbreak, with one-third describing the coverage as “alarmist and unnecessary.”

Access the full survey results here.

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