Perceptions of family practice residents regarding health care and poor patients

J. H. Price, S. M. Desmond, F. F. Snyder, S. R. Kimmel, D. L. Roter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to assess residents' beliefs about the poor. Residents from eight different Ohio residency programs completed the questionnaire (N = 130). No significant differences were found in beliefs about the poor based on resident age, year of residency training, size of the community in which the resident was raised, and percentage of low-socioeconomic-status patients cared for. Most residents perceived the welfare system as lacking; 83 percent agreed the poor are caught in a 'cycle of poverty', 82 percent agreed welfare benefits cause the poor to be dependent upon the system, and 48 percent believed indigent women become pregnant and have babies so they can collect welfare support. Conversely, only one in four residents believed that most poor people become poor as a result of lack of effort on their part, and one in five believed that society is coddling the poor. The majority of residents believed that poor patients are more likely than others to miss appointments without canceling (73 percent), more likely to be late for appointments (51 percent), and less knowledgeable about their illnesses (80 percent). One in four residents believed that poor patients tend not to appreciate the work of physicians and nurses, and 43 percent claimed that the poor are more difficult patients. The majority of residents believed that the poor are unlikely to practice preventive health behaviors (72 percent) or to be compliant with their medical regimen (60 percent). Finally, 41 percent believed that poor patients usually care less than others about their own health status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-621
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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