A new survey of America’s doctors reveals three out of every four are believers in miracles.

The poll of 1,100 physicians found 74 percent of doctors believe miracles have occurred in the past, and 73 percent believe they can occur today.

The survey was conducted by HCD Research and the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

“The picture that emerges is one where doctors, although presumably more highly educated than their average patient, are not necessarily more secular or radically different in religious outlook than the public,” said Dr. Alan Mittleman, director of the institute.

The poll also indicated American physicians are “surprisingly religious,” with 72 percent indicating they believe religion provides a reliable and necessary guide to life.

Those surveyed represent physicians from Christian (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox Christian and other), Jewish (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and secular) Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions.

“Perhaps the most surprising result of the survey,” the report notes, “is that a majority of doctors (55 percent) said that they have seen treatment results in their patients that they would consider miraculous (45 percent do not). Most physicians pray for their patients as a group (51 percent). Even more, 59 percent pray for individual patients.”

Two-thirds encourage their patients to pray. Of those physicians, 5 percent did so for God to answer their prayers, 32 percent for psychological benefits and 63 percent for both reasons. One-third did not encourage their patients to pray.

Regarding their views on miracles and the source of the Bible:

  • 37 percent physicians believe the Bible’s miracle stories are literally true, while 50 percent believe they are metaphorically true. Twelve percent indicated that they did not believe in the Bible’s description of miracles;

  • 9 percent believe the Bible was written by God, 58 percent believe the Bible was inspired by God and 34 percent consider it human ancient literature;

  • and 55 percent believe that medical practice should be guided by religious teaching (44 percent do not).

    Additional findings indicate:

  • Over half, 58 percent, attend worship services at least once per month;

  • A plurality, 46 percent, believe prayer is very important in their own lives.

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