Internal Medicine
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Antibiotic resistance: Doctors think it’s a problem, but not theirs

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Most doctors acknowledge that antibiotic resistance is a problem in the United States but don’t think that inappropriate antibiotic prescribing is a problem in their practices, according to a nationwide survey of internal, family, and pediatric medicine physicians in the United States.

Nearly all of the 1550 respondents (94%) agreed that antibiotic resistance was a problem in the United States but only 55% agreed it was a problem in their practice.

More than 90% thought that inappropriate antibiotic prescribing was a problem in outpatient settings compared to 37% in their practice.

More than half (60%) thought that they prescribed antibiotics more appropriately than their peers.

Consistent differences in responses were also found according to medical specialty. Pediatricians were most likely to recognize antibiotic resistance as a problem and reported lower levels of patient pressure to prescribe antibiotics than family and internal medicine doctors.

Zetts RM, Garcia AM, Doctor JN, et al. Primary care physicians’ attitudes and perceptions towards antibiotic resistance and antibiotic stewardship: A national survey. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2020;7(7):ofaa244. https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofaa244