When you’re choosing a doctor, it probably doesn’t occur to you to inquire about his or her political leanings. After all, politics can’t affect a doctor’s abilities, right? A new study says that politics might play a bigger role in a doctor’s medical advice than you might think.
The study, released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discovered that when it came to more controversial medical issues and treatments, doctors’ concerns about their patients differed depending on the doctor’s political affiliation.
For example, in cases dealing with issues such as abortion or the medicinal use of marijuana, Republican doctors tended to recommend against these treatments, while Democrats showed less concern. Democratic doctors, by comparison, showed much more concern about patients who had firearms stored at home, especially if the patient also had small children living with them. However, less controversial health issues such as obesity or depression didn’t show much of a discrepancy across party lines.
Based on the study’s findings, the researchers believe that patients should be able to find out information regarding their doctor’s political affiliation in much the same way they’re able to learn other information about a doctor’s background. At the very least, if you know that you have health concerns related to a politicized medical issue such as abortion or marijuana use, you should be sure to engage in an honest conversation about it with your doctor to find out where he or she stands.
For more information about important things you need to know about your doctor, see our article, “Rogue Doctors Go Undisciplined by States.”
If you need smart insight into a potential case, please get in touch with our D.C. medical malpractice attorneys for a consultation.