Should physicians enter politics? 5 insights

Practice Management

The 2016 presidential election motivated many in the healthcare industry to become more politically involved in various capacities, according to Medscape.

Here are five points of context:


1. Clinician Action Network was founded after the 2016 election to help healthcare workers advocate for "evidence based health policies that put patients first." CAN's first effort was opposing the AMA's endorsement of Tom Price, MD, for HHS Secretary.


2. Proposed healthcare reform tends to spur physicians to enter politics, as seen in the 1990s when President Bill Clinton spoke about "Hillarycare" and in 2010 with the ACA.


3. Six Republican physicians were elected to the House following the ACA's passage.


4. Professional societies such as the American Psychiatric Association allow physicians to advocate for issues they care about while retaining enough clinical detachment to remain effective.


5. Physicians' opinions on apolitical medical scenarios tend to be the same while politicized health issues differ based on their political party identification, according to a 2016 study published in PNAS.


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