Increasing Trust in Health Care is a New Imperative


Series of Viewpoints published in JAMA launch national conversation on trust

PHILADELPHIA, PA – With numerous reports that public trust in established institutions like government and media continues to decline, the ABIM Foundation has launched an initiative to ignite a national conversation about trust in health care. A series of Viewpoint articles appearing in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) over several weeks raise concerns that health care in the United States is not immune from this trend.

The JAMA opinion pieces, which offer health care stakeholders new ways to think about nurturing trust to support better patient care, are based on a series of discussions among health care leaders convened by the ABIM Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on enhancing medical professionalism. The Foundation has previously drawn national attention for its groundbreaking Choosing Wisely campaign to raise awareness about overuse of certain medical tests and procedures.

“A big part of seeking trusting relationships involves listening and genuinely trying to understand others who may not see things the same way,” said Richard Baron, MD, the Foundation’s President and CEO. “We believe there is real power in treating trust as a core operating principle in health care and continually striving to improve it.”

The JAMA series, co-authored by some of the nation’s leading innovators in health care, is aimed at physicians, health systems, patients, payers, and government. It examines trust in health care from a variety of contexts, interactions, and relationships, including physician to patient, patient to physician, physician to physician, physician to health system, physician to payer, and physician to government.

Recently published articles include:

In addition to the JAMA series, the Foundation earlier this year launched the Trust Practice Challenge, an initiative to directly address the “trust gap” in health care by identifying and promoting existing practices that foster trust and trustworthiness. The eight winners of the Challenge will be announced later in May.

The Foundation will develop further efforts to nurture trust, possibly by combating misinformation in health care, strengthening ties between health care systems and patient communities, convening forums about trust for health care stakeholders, and developing evidence-based tools to measure trust within organizations for self-assessment.

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About the ABIM Foundation
The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system. We achieve this by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policy makers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit, connect with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.


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Jaime McClennen