Poll: U.S. Physicians Feel Unprepared to Diagnose and Treat Long COVID

More training, research, and public education needed

Bethesda, Maryland, March 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Physicians agree that Long COVID is a problem, but few feel prepared to diagnose and treat it, according to a new national poll. See the poll findings. In the poll of 806 U.S. physicians, conducted in December 2022 by Morning Consult on behalf of the de Beaumont Foundation, more than three in four physicians (78%) said Long COVID is a problem. However, only 7% said they are “very confident” diagnosing Long COVID and only 4% said they are very confident treating the condition. See poll findings at debeaumont.org/LongCOVIDpoll

Key findings and conclusions:

  • Physicians need more training in diagnosing and treating Long COVID.
  • Funding research on Long COVID should be a national priority, and has the support of 82% of physicians and 76% of the public.
  • More public education is needed to overcome misinformation and the stigma of Long COVID.

“Despite attempts by a small number of physicians to downplay the ongoing threat of COVID-19, these findings show that nearly all physicians recognize the threat of Long COVID, with only 2% saying it’s not a problem at all,” said Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, de Beaumont’s president and CEO. “And across party lines, physicians and other Americans strongly agree that we need more funding for Long COVID research.”

Only 46% of physicians said they are somewhat or very confident diagnosing patients with Long COVID. Even fewer – 28% – said they are confident treating patients with Long COVID. More than half of physicians (52%) said they have treated patients with Long COVID, and they are more confident than physicians who have not treated patients with the condition. Of the physicians who have treated patients with Long COVID, 56% said they are confident in diagnosing the condition, and 42% said they are confident treating it. 

A companion poll of 2,210 U.S. adults was also conducted with many of the same questions. Among both physicians and the public, Democrats were more likely than Independents and Republicans to say Long COVID is a problem, but the percentage difference between Democrat and Republican physicians (10%) was smaller than the partisan gap among the public (17%). Seven in 10 physicians who identified as Republicans (70%) said Long COVID is a major problem, compared with just over half of all Republican adults (53%).


On behalf of the de Beaumont Foundation, Morning Consult conducted a national online poll Dec. 9-19, 2022, among a sample of 806 physicians. Survey results have a margin of error of +/-3%. Medical respondents were physicians who spend at least half their time performing direct patient care (time spent managing patients, including patient office visits, performing procedures, patient-related phone calls, follow-ups, etc.). The respondents included primary care providers, acute care physicians, urgent care physicians, hospital physicians, and other types of physician specialists. A companion poll of the general population was conducted Dec. 10-14, 2022, among 2,210 adults. Results from this sample have a margin of error of +/- 2%. The data among adults was weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, age, race, educational attainment, and region.





Poll Summary (4 pages) Infographic: physicians' views on Long COVID

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