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What are SERMO polls?

Every Monday, SERMO posts a poll with a fresh, topical question. Each poll can receive up to 3,000 votes. Polls are open to all members of the community.  We ask anything from when was your last physical to how do you feel about maintenance of certification courses.  Our polls are one of the most popular areas of our site, they spark plenty of healthy debate and enable doctors to have a voice on important issues. Learn more

Sermo Poll of the Week

Weekly perspectives from physicians on the latest trends in healthcare.

August 28, 2017

In light of new research, do you believe that it is necessary to finish antibiotic courses in order to prevent resistance?

Yes 74%
No 26%
August 21, 2017

Should data from implanted medical devices be admissible evidence in court?

Yes 72%
No 28%
August 14, 2017

Do you think expiration dates reflect when the drug is chemically ineffective?

Yes 13%
No 87%
August 07, 2017

Is it ethical to exchange shorter prison sentences if an inmate agrees to sterilize themselves (vasectomy for men, implant for women)?

Yes 23%
No 77%
July 31, 2017

Do you think it should be criminal to not take reasonable steps to help someone in distress?

Yes 46%
No 54%
July 24, 2017

Should doctors be tested for physical and/or mental competency at age 65?

No 7%
No, unless an issue has occurred 60%
Yes, mental 19%
Yes, physical 1%
Yes, both 13%
July 17, 2017

Have you ever been in a class action lawsuit?

Yes 27%
No 69%
They don’t exist in my country 4%
July 10, 2017

Do you think that some patients’ chronic pain could be better managed by antidepressants than opioids?

Yes 83%
No 17%
July 03, 2017

How long should long-term-ill patients receive free prescriptions?

1 month or under 4%
As long as they are ill 65%
More than 1 year 6%
Up to a year 12%
Should not be free 13%
June 26, 2017

Should all adults undergo a routine annual skin cancer screening?

Yes 47%
Only adults with risk factors including history of sunburn, moles, and fair skin 43%
No 10%
June 19, 2017

What age do you think is appropriate for children to start using social media?

10-13 14%
14-16 49%
17+ 32%
Any age 4%
June 12, 2017

Should long-term antibiotic use continue to be legal for the treatment of “Chronic Lyme” in the US?

Yes 46%
No 54%
June 05, 2017

Do you believe an app that track’s a woman’s menstrual cycle can be as effective as birth control?

Yes 21%
No 79%
May 29, 2017

If you have experienced an EHR outage at your practice or hospital, which of these common issues caused it?

Breach/third party hack 6%
Hardware malfunction 22%
Internet connectivity problems 43%
Other/unknown 8%
Power failure 22%
Software malfunction 49%
I have not experienced an EHR outage 12%
May 22, 2017

Do you think more patients should recover with at-home care instead of in the hospital in your nation?

Yes 84%
No 16%
May 15, 2017

Do you think skinny jeans have negative health effects?

Yes 35%
No 22%
Perhaps, but predominantly insignificant/temporary ones 42%
May 08, 2017

Recently a premature sheep was brought to full term within a plastic bag. In regards to using this technology for premature human births, do you find this development mostly…

Scientifically promising 54%
Ethically unsound 10%
Unsettling 24%
Not applicable to humans 13%
May 01, 2017

To combat organ trafficking, some countries have made it compulsory for physicians to report the recipient of an organ purchased abroad if follow-up care is requested. Do you think your country should adopt the same law?

Yes, I want my country to adopt this law 78%
No, I do not want my country to adopt this law 14%
My country has adopted this and I support it 4%
My country has adopted this and I do not support it 4%
April 24, 2017

Would you feel comfortable performing or assisting with an execution of a death row inmate? 26% yes, 74% no

Yes 26%
No 74%
April 17, 2017

Considering the rates and effects of fetal alcohol syndrome, is it ethical to ban women from consuming alcohol during pregnancy?

Yes 66%
No 25%
Yes, but only if they’ve already had a child with fetal alcohol syndrome 9%
April 10, 2017

Should vitamins and supplements require FDA approval before hitting the market?

Yes 73%
No 27%
April 03, 2017

Do you think hepatitis B or C could be wiped out by 2030?

No, neither 52%
Yes, both 28%
Yes, Hepatitis B 9%
Yes, Hepatitis C 11%
March 27, 2017

In your opinion, which kind of healthcare system would benefit patients in your country the most?

Private 36%
Public 64%
March 20, 2017

Abstinence-only education: For or Against?

Against 72%
For 28%
March 13, 2017

Do you support a physician of your primary speciality who refuses to proceed with certain treatments in patients who refuse to stop using tobacco products?

Yes 51%
No 49%
March 06, 2017

Has an EMR/EHR outage or malfunction ever jeopardized the health/safety of a patient?

No 52%
Yes 48%
February 27, 2017

Have you ever gotten food poisoning?

Yes 69%
No 31%
February 20, 2017

True or False: I wouldn't have made it through medical school without coffee.

False 64%
True 36%
February 13, 2017

How much time do you (and your staff) currently spend on prior authorizations?

0-2 hours 28%
3-5 hours 32%
6-10 hours 24%
11-15 hours 8%
16 or more hours 9%
February 06, 2017

Which of these do you think actually work to prevent illness?

Hand Sanitizer 60%
Vitamins 15%
Zinc 15%
Airborne 6%
Echinacea 5%
Tea 5%
Emergen-C 5%
None of the above 27%
January 30, 2017

Do you support automatic enrollment of all adults into the register of potential organ donors?

No 54%
Yes 46%
January 23, 2017

Assuming a patient is responsible about "upkeep/maintenance" over time, do you think breast implants are safe?

No breast implants are safe 52%
Both silicone gel implants and saline implants are safe 30%
Only saline implants are safe 12%
Only silicone implants are safe 6%
January 16, 2017

How well has your country done in implementing telehealth?

Very well 4%
Well 15%
Fair 38%
Poor 32%
Very poor 11%
January 09, 2017

Do you think US President-elect Trump’s personal use of social media should be curtailed when he is sworn in?

Yes 62%
No 38%
January 02, 2017

When considering choices of medication(s) for pregnant or lactating women, what is the primary resource you use?

Medical online resources/apps 51%
Consult with a peer 13%
Resource books 13%
I would like more information on how to choose the best medications for pregnant or lactating women 11%
Nothing, I just tell women that there are very few times that mothers should stop breastfeeding 4%
Other 4%
December 26, 2016

How many hours do you sleep per day?

Over 8 hours 4%
7-8 hours 47%
5-6 hours 45%
Under 5 hours 4%
December 19, 2016

Do you feel comfortable recommending that a patient lose weight?

Yes 92%
No 8%
December 12, 2016

Should the inability to reproduce due to lack of a procreative partner be considered a disability?

Yes 10%
No 90%
December 05, 2016

Do you support mandatory flu shots for medical personnel?

Yes 62%
No 38%
November 28, 2016

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is considered to be a “game-changer” in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Do you think it should be funded by the Government?

Yes 63%
No 37%
November 21, 2016

Would you rather your child become a doctor, nurse or pharmacist?

Doctor 73%
Pharmacist 22%
Nurse 5%
November 14, 2016

What is the biggest challenge in the fight against Type 1 Diabetes?

Identifying a cure 38%
Insulin management device development 32%
Insulin mismanagement 13%
Alternative treatment options 17%
November 07, 2016

The best approaches to get physicians to engage and be compliant with antimicrobial stewardship are:

Hardwiring the EHR/EMR with prescriber guidance. 24%
Eliminate or change Press Ganey / customer satisfaction surveys. 23%
Empower the public with the same prescriber guidance we give the providers. 20%
Direct oversight of all prescriptions by ID and pharmacy with full order override if non-compliant. 15%
CMS-led public reporting of prescriber behavior. 7%
Legislation calling for monetary penalties to physicians for poor compliance. 5%
Public reporting via websites like Yelp for bad physician prescribing behavior (i.e. consumer-led). 4%
Authorization to fire physicians by law if they fail to comply with stewardship. 2%
October 31, 2016

Which of these diseases are you personally most afraid of developing or contracting?

Alzheimers 55%
cancer 29%
heart disease 5%
multiple sclerosis 5%
antibiotic resistant infection 4%
HIV/AIDS 2%
October 24, 2016

Do you participate in health insurance plans offered in the federal or state exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act?

Yes 57%
No 43%
October 17, 2016

Patients should…

…receive their flu shot at a doctor’s office 35%
…receive their flu shot from a retail pharmacy 4%
No preference, as long as they get a flu shot 55%
I don’t think they need a flu shot 6%
October 10, 2016

Do you check your smartphone once you're in bed?

Yes 53%
No 47%
October 03, 2016

Zika was dominating news for a long time, especially leading up to the Olympics. Now, less so. Has the threat mostly passed?

Yes 26%
No 74%
September 26, 2016

Routine screening mammography for average risk women should be done…

Annually from age 40 and continue indefinitely 59%
Biannually from age 50 to 74 41%
September 19, 2016

Next month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, one of the most attention-grabbing health awareness months. Do you think awareness campaigns are helpful?

Yes, my patients ask more questions about the topic of awareness 50%
Yes, I see an increase in office visits 16%
No, awareness months and days do not affect my patients 34%
September 12, 2016

Do you agree with the National Health Service’s policy to ban patients whose BMI is 30 or more from routine surgery for non-life-threatening conditions for a year?

Yes 40%
No 60%
September 05, 2016

If some form of mass casualty event happened in your area, do you think your regional health system is well-prepared to deal with the emergency and care for the wounded?

Yes 50%
No 50%
August 29, 2016

Which is a bigger problem for doctors practicing medicine in the U.S.– major insurance company mergers, or hospital/health system mergers?

Insurance mergers 40%
Hospital/health system mergers 40%
Neither directly effects my practice 20%
August 22, 2016

Do you think that energy drinks pose health dangers?

Yes, they are more risky than their marketing reveals 61%
Yes, though risks are negligible for those without compounding conditions 29%
No, not more than other caffeinated beverages like coffee 10%
August 15, 2016

Do you work in both the public and private sectors?

Yes 41%
No 59%
August 08, 2016

What is your opinion on the Cancer Moonshot, led by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden?

It's unlikely that the initiative will deliver on its promises 67%
It's an important initiative that will improve our ability to prevent treat and detect cancer 33%
August 01, 2016

Do your millennial patients ask about the out-of-pocket costs of treatments and seek out lower-cost alternatives more than other demographics?

Yes 33%
No 67%
July 26, 2016

Do you support making naloxone (brand name Narcan) available without a prescription?

Yes 39%
No, no drug should be available without a specific prescription 19%
No, naloxone in particular should not be available without prescription 42%
July 14, 2016

Should any of these consumables be subject to a higher tax?

Cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and other smokeables (where legal) 33%
Alcohol 23%
Sugary foods and/or soda 17%
Fatty foods and/or beverages 10%
Super-sized portions 10%
None of the above 7%
July 07, 2016

Should parents whose children die of a preventable condition due to a personal refusal to use western medicine be charged with manslaughter?

Yes 65%
No, parents have the right to choose how they want to treat their children 35%
June 30, 2016

In the case of elderly patients, do you believe it is a doctor's responsibility to disagree with a caregiver and willingly come between him/her and the patient?

Yes 74%
No 26%
June 23, 2016

Do you believe that pain should be considered a vital sign?

Yes 44%
No 56%
June 16, 2016

Do you believe that the Rio Olympic Games should be cancelled, postponed or transferred because of the Zika virus?

Yes 45%
No 55%
June 09, 2016

When patients share a diagnosis they found online for their symptoms, how often is it accurate?

Sometimes 63%
Rarely 27%
Frequently 9%
Often 1%
June 02, 2016

The rapid emergence of resistant bacteria has been attributed to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Which of the following do you think is the biggest driver of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions?

A general pressure from the patient to 'do something' 62%
Lack of clarity in guidelines and recommended treatment courses 14%
Patient satisfaction/ admin issued surveys 12%
Fear of malpractice lawsuits 12%
May 26, 2016

Have you been threatened for not complying with MOC?

No, but I fear I would if I tried to stop MOC 50%
No, I do not feel threatened and remain in compliance 35%
Yes, by my employer 10%
Yes, by an insurance company 6%
Yes, by my medical organization 6%
May 19, 2016

Several biosimilars (products that are bioequivalent to biologics) are currently approved for the US and European market, and many more will follow in the near future. In general do you feel biosimilars will prove safe and effective enough for you to prescribe them when more become available?

Yes 47%
No 10%
Would need more educational information on biosimilars 43%
May 12, 2016

How do you feel about breastfeeding vs formula?

I'd really prefer that all moms breastfeed, but that is not always possible 54%
Both breast feeding and formula are fine, moms should choose 16%
I'm okay with breastfeeding and occasional formula supplementation 15%
I recommend breastfeeding only 14%
I recommend formula only 1%
May 05, 2016

Trials have just begun for the transplant of kidneys from donors with hep-C to patients who are hep-C free. The trials are supported by Merck, the manufacturer of a hep-C drug. Would you recommend a patient in dire need of a kidney transplant consider an organ from a donor infected with hep-C?

Yes 47%
No 63%
April 28, 2016

Do you think patient surveys issued by hospital admins pressure doctors and influence them to prescribe more pain medication than they otherwise might?

Yes 51%
No 40%
Do not use 9%
April 21, 2016

How do you digitally communicate with your patients?

Secure text messaging or email 15%
Secure portal 10%
One of my staff handles it 16%
Call or send letters 58%
Social media 1%
April 14, 2016

Have you had a colleague or friend who is a physician, who has attempted or committed suicide?

Yes 50%
No 50%
April 07, 2016

Junior Doctors in the UK have a series of strikes planned due to new contracts being forced against them. Do you support the UK Jr Doctors strike?

Yes 87%
No 13%
February 23, 2015

Poll: How doctors feel about compassionate use

Poll: How doctors feel about compassionate use
January 19, 2015

Most Doctors Support Telemedicine

Poll: Most Doctors Support Telemedicine
January 14, 2015

Doctors Say No To Obesity As a Disability

Poll: Doctors Say No To Obesity As a Disability
January 12, 2015

Violence Against Doctors: It happens more than you think

Poll: Violence Against Doctors: It happens more than you think
January 5, 2015

Poll: 2015 Trends in Medicine

Poll: 2015 Trends in Medicine
December 15, 2014

Are Doctors Workaholics?

Poll: Are Doctors Workaholics?
December 1, 2014

Doctors Face Tough Challenges in the Workplace

Poll: Doctors Face Tough Challenges in the Workplace
November 17, 2014

The Despicable Patient and Name Calling

Poll: The Despicable Patient and Name Calling
November 14, 2014

How Long Does Your Doctor Really Spend With You?

Poll: How Long Does Your Doctor Really Spend With You?
November 14, 2014

Happy Halloween from SERMO

October 27, 2014

Do you support mandatory flu shots for medical personnel?

70%
Yes (1811/2577)

30%
No (756/2577)
October 20, 2014

If you could have one organ in a jar on your desk what would it be? Happy (early) Halloween!

41%
brains (955/2317)

27%
heart (628/2317)

22%
eyeballs (505/2317)

5%
kidneys (105/2317)

3%
tongue (63/2317)

3%
liver (61/2317)
October 13, 2014

As a physician, which virus are you most concerned with in the US?

46%
Ebola (1287/2818)

40%
Influenza (1120/2818)

15%
EV-D68 (411/2818)
October 06, 2014

In the past year, what percentage of your patients have misdiagnosed themselves before coming to you?

27%
11% to 20% (597/2234)

27%
21% to 30% (592/2234)

14%
0 to 10% (592/2234)

13%
31% to 40% (300/2234)

11%
Over 50% (251/2234)

8%
41% to 50% (181/2234)
September 29, 2014

In the past year, what percentage of your patients have misdiagnosed themselves before coming to you?

38%
21% to 30% (14/37)

30%
31% to 40% (11/37)

22%
11% to 20% (8/37)

8%
41% to 50% (3/37)

3%
0% to 10% (1/37)
September 22, 2014

Should emergency rooms be staffed with full-time mental health workers to aid with medical issues for the mentally ill?

38%
On-call is fine (824/2189)

36%
Full-time mental health care worker 785/2189)

12%
Mental health care worker during peak hours (264/2189)

10%
Full-time Psychiatrist (217/2189)

5%
Psychiatrist during peak hours (99/2189)
September 17, 2014

What has contributed the most to the rise in Vitamin D deficiency in the past few years?

71%
Less time outside (441/625)

18%
Dietary changes (112/625)

12%
Overuse of sunscreen (72/625)
September 15, 2014

Do you think physicians over-order tests to protect themselves from lawsuits?

94%
Yes (2147/2290)

6%
No (143/2290)