A new study suggests that who your doctor will vote for this presidential election could have an impact on your health.
Think your doctor’s views on the upcoming presidential election — or politics in general — don’t matter? Think again, says a new study. A new study from Yale University suggests that primary care physicians approach medical issues very differently depending on what their political views are.
The study found that doctors would be more likely to say they would counsel a patient that wants an abortion to think about the health consequences if they were registered Republicans, in one example. Meanwhile, Democrat doctors were more likely to urge patients who owned guns to avoid keeping them in the house, while Republicans were more likely to ask about safe gun storage, according to the study.
It’s an indication that perhaps it might be best if we matched up patients with doctors who agreed with their political views, much like how a female patient can request a female doctor.
Far from being neutral people, doctors are human beings like anyone else with their own views and opinions, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And doctors seem to be getting more political lately, with the paper noting that doctors have contributed more than four times as much to political campaigns as they did 20 years ago.
“Political beliefs have been shown to spill over into nonpolitical domains, such as consumer spending, choice of romantic partner, and job hiring,” the paper’s abstract reads. “Our evidence suggests that political beliefs predict the professional decisions of primary care physicians. On politicized health issues, like marijuana and abortion, physicians’ partisan identity is highly correlated with their treatment decisions. Because physicians regularly interact with patients on politically sensitive health issues and because the medical profession is increasingly politicized (e.g., state governments are regulating politicized aspects of medicine), it is necessary to understand how doctors’ own political worldviews may impact their actions in the medical examination room.”
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