National Survey of Muslim Physician Attitudes towards Religion and Medicine
This project provided insight into the lives of American Muslim physicians as they negotiate their identity as Muslims with their identity as medical professionals within a multicultural and pluralistic society. The project was funded by the University of Chicago’s Program on Medicine and Religion Faculty Scholars Program through the John Templeton Foundation. The project focused on the ways Islam influences American Muslim physicians’ medical practices and informs their professional identities. Additionally, we explored American Muslim physicians’ experiences with religion-based workplace discrimination. Alongside the empirical inquiry, we engaged with the philosophical and ethical traditions of Islam as they relate to conceptions of healing and the moral formation of physicians.
The project aimed to:
- Describe the influence of Islamic religiosity on physicians’ practice patterns.
- Assess the incidence and predictors of religion-directed workplace discrimination experienced by American Muslim physicians.
- Assess the relationships between religiosity and ethical decision making among American Muslim physicians.
Muslim Physicians in the U.S. Healthcare Workforce
Muslim Physicians Believe Islam Influences their Medical Practice
Many Muslim physicians believe their medical practices are influenced by Islam. American Muslim physicians’ shared Islamic faith may lead them toward similar approaches to medicine. Studies suggest religious physicians derive their professional values and modulate their medical practices based in part on their religious views. Thus national surveys find that physician religious characteristics predict physicians’ attitudes and practices in an array of clinical domains. While American Muslim physicians are under-investigated, previous findings from our work demonstrate that Islamic values influence Muslim physicians’ medical practices by:
- Motivating them to live out virtuous character traits in the patient-doctor relationship
- Setting the ethico-legal boundaries of their practices
Number of participants that were surveyed (N= 255)
- 70% of participants were of South Asian decent
- 22% of participants were of Arab decent
- 4% of participants were of White/Caucasian decent
- 2% of participants were of Black/African American decent
Report on Healthcare Discrimination
- 24 % of American Muslim physicians have reported discrimination at work because of their religion
- 9% of American Muslim physicians have reported their patients refused their care because of their religious identity
- Empathy and Attending to Patient Religion/Spirituality: Findings from a National Survey of Muslim Physicians
- Religious Identity and Workplace Discrimination: A National Survey of American Muslim Physicians
- Attitudes Towards the Resuscitation of Periviable Infants: A National Survey of American Muslim Physicians
- Predictors of Physician Recommendation for Ethically Controversial Medical Procedures: Findings from an Exploratory National Survey of American Muslim Physicians
- Assessing Relationships Between Muslim Physicians’ Religiosity and End-of-Life Health-Care Attitudes and Treatment Recommendations: An Exploratory National Survey
Access This Study’s Survey and Open Access Data
Check out our National Survey on Muslim American Physician Attitudes towards Religion and Medicine research project alongside our other major research projects in the past decade by visiting our data repository webpage: voices.uchicago.edu/islamandmedicine/data.
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