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Religion a Popular Topic of Discussion Among US Physicians on Sermo
Date:1/20/2010

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Sermo (http://www.sermo.com), the world's largest online community for physicians, today announced its weekly hot topic. Nearly 500 physicians from 38 specialties participated in a Sermo post from a Pediatrician, which asks colleagues "do you believe in eternal life?" Over 54% of respondents report they do believe in the afterlife. Many of the 1,512 comments reflect an interest in a Creator and an afterlife. The overall conversation reflects both a deep, complex thought process among physicians about the afterlife and an ongoing struggle with faith.

One OBGYN states that from an "existential ... perspective, certainly not", but from an intellectual angle, "yes, I believe in eternal life." One Family Medicine Physician states that while he believes in eternal life, he "is not so vain as to believe I will have any idea what it will be like."

A far more common theme among physicians was a hope that there will be an afterlife and a desire to live in the moment regardless. Throughout the discussion are frequent "I hope so's" and even a desperation to believe. As one Family Medicine physician said "maybe... I hope...maybe".

Those who disagree with an afterlife propose that the belief is a product of humans' fear of mortality. One Pathologist argues, "If people believe in an afterlife, why are they so afraid to die?" continuing with "I don't think many of those who proclaim a belief in an afterlife truly believe it."  Another Infectious Diseases physician claims it is a testament to "fear of our mortality."

What all physicians could agree on was an invitation from one Emergency Medicine physician to "act in the living present." This sentiment is echoed throughout the discussion; one OBGYN encourages his colleague to "live, love and laugh."

This discussion continues on Sermo without a true resolution. Over 1,500 comments have been added since the discussion began.  What's certain is the belief in an afterlife is a highly personal conviction, shaped by cultural and religious upbringing. For many, doubt and belief remain highly intertwined.

To view the full discussion and polling results, visit the Sermo Blog at www.sermo.com/blog. The Sermo Blog (www.sermo.com/blog) highlights the most vibrant discussions happening. Discussions on Sermo are physician-initiated and cover topics ranging from medical ethics & practice management to challenging clinical cases.  All physicians on Sermo are verified as licensed in the US.

About Sermo

Sermo is the largest online physician-only community, where over 112,000 practicing physicians collaborate on cases and exchange observations about drugs, devices and clinical issues. Sermo provides access to its community for organizations that need fast, actionable MD insights. Visit www.sermo.com to learn more.

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