HCPLive Network
LIFESTYLE

The 10 Most Dishonest Professions

Laura Mortkowitz | Thursday, December 15, 2011
Nurses, doctors and pharmacists must be riding high on the knowledge that Americans believe them to be the most honest and ethical, according to a Gallup poll. Of course, there are jobs on the other end of the spectrum: those professions that very few Americans believe are honest or ethical.

Since 1976, Gallup has been asking Americans to rate the honesty and ethics of numerous professions with answers of very high, high, average, low and very low. Three medical professions topped this list this year: nurses, pharmacists and doctors.

Some of the lowest ranked
professions aren’t all that surprising, especially considering the state of the U.S. economy.




1. Members of Congress
Almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) rated the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress as low or very low. Typically, the rating for this profession is never very high, peaking at 25% in 2001. However, this year, they established a new low rating, with only 7% them as high or very high.

In general, people in politics don’t fare well. In the past the poll has included local officeholders, state officeholders, senators and state governors. None of those has received a very high or high rating of more than 26%, and have even been as low as 11%.


2. Lobbyists
This profession was a recent addition to the Gallup poll. Only added in 2007, lobbyists consistently have a small percent rating their honesty as high or very high. Although this year’s 7% ties last year, it’s an improvement over the mere 5% in 2007.


3. Car Salespeople
There is a stigma around being a car salesperson, and Americans continue to think that they are being swindled, with only 7% rating this profession’s honesty and ethical standards as high or very high. This profession is regularly in the single digits, hitting as low as 5% in 1998 and 2007 and as high as 9% in 2004.


4. Telemarketers
Only included in the poll every three years, telemarketers are always in the single digits. This year, 8% of Americans rated them as high or very high.


5. Advertising Practitioners
Over the years Americans’ opinions of them has wavered a lot, hitting 14% in early 2002 and dropping to 9% in late of that same year. But for three years in a row now, 11% of Americans rated their honesty as high or very high.


6. Stockbrokers
This profession is making a comeback. After hitting a low in 2009 with only 9%, stockbrokers are back up at 12%. However, they have a long way to go until they hit their high of 19%, which they were rated in 1998, 2000 and 2001.


7. Business Executives
It probably comes as no surprise that during the years of the recession that the rating for business executives dipped. But in 2011, they were rated at 18%, which is equal to pre-recession rating in 2006.


8. Labor Union Leaders
This year, 18% of Americans rated this professions honesty as high or very high, which is actually the highest rating since 1996.


9. Lawyers
Like advertising practitioners, ratings for lawyers have bounced all over the place, shooting up from 13% in 1999 to 18% in 2000, but also dropping from 18% in 2008 to 13% in 2009. This year, they’ve landed at 19%, the highest rating since 1996.


10. Real Estate Agents
They are actually doing better now than during the ’90s, when their rating was in the mid-teens. This year, Americans rated them at 20% high or very high, which is a new high rating for this profession.

RELATED ARTICLES
People sometimes get lazy, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, there are certain areas of your investments that don't benefit from too much focus.
Alessio Fasano, MD, came to the US from Italy looking to expand his horizons beyond celiac disease. Instead, he became a leader in the treatment, research, and education of celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders.
Financial planner Steve Podnos, MD, CFP, provides advice about budgeting and investing for physicians who are looking to improve their financial security in these tough economic times.
RECENT CLINICAL ARTICLES
Emergency physicians may see an increase in heroin overdoses that are actually tied to acetyl fentanyl, a legal opiate with effects mirroring heroin.
Researchers have made several impressive advances in gastrointestinal medicine in recent years, including the use of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to treat recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Following the success of that approach, researchers have been evaluating FMT for the treatment of other conditions, with one team recently conducting the first randomized controlled trial of FMT to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Researchers have manufactured a peptide aimed to block modified proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and other conditions.