Doc usage, regard for the Web increasing

July 1, 2001

Pharmaceutical Representative

The perception of the Internet as a useful resource has steadily increased among physicians since 1997, according to a study released by the Chicago-based American Medical Association.

The perception of the Internet as a useful resource has steadily increased among physicians since 1997, according to a study released by the Chicago-based American Medical Association.

The findings come from the 2001 AMA Study on Physicians' Use of the World Wide Web, in which a total of 1,001 physicians in the United States were interviewed between June 15, 2000 and September 9, 2000.

New trends

The AMA survey revealed the following trends regarding physician Internet use:


•Â A considerable increase in the use of computers among physicians (75% in 2000 from 42% in 1997) has been matched by an equally impressive increase in physician use of the Internet (70% in 2000 from 20% in 1997).


•Â The percentage of online physicians who consider the Web a useful resource for drug information (51%), business (53%) and patient education (39%) has increased significantly since 1997.


•Â Five physician activities on the Web -collecting conference information, purchasing products or services, shopping, using brokerage services, and online banking - have made large gains since 1997.


•Â Twenty-five percent of online physicians use e-mail to communicate with patients.


•Â After increasing significantly from 1997 to 1999, the proportion of physicians that have a site on the Web (26%) has stabilized.

The sample of physicians interviewed for the study was selected randomly from the AMA's Physician Masterfile, a database of information on all physicians in the United States, including members and nonmembers of the AMA. Physicians who were employed by the federal government, age 70 or older or in residency training were excluded from participation in the survey. PR