It’s been said that “if you’re in medicine, you’re in politics.“ Throughout my day I deal with a wide variety of people. They are of different ages, religions, and political persuasions.
Because of this, I choose to be pragmatic in my discussions and evaluations of politicians and the political leanings of my patients. By dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations, it is easy to find common ground and mutual respect.
2020 may go down as the most divided political year in history. People have become anxious, excited and passionate about many political issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, and the political styles of the candidates. In the end, our hopes and dreams for ourselves and our families are much more similar than we’d ever like to admit.
The AMA Code of Ethics addresses the physician’s role in politics in several different ways. It states that “A physician shall respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes in those requirements which are contrary to the best interest of the patient. It further states that “A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.“ Lastly, it says “A physician shall advocate for social, economic, educational, and political changes that ameliorate suffering and contribute to human well-being.“
These principles state, better than I ever could, why I have always remained active at the local and state level in my Osteopathic medical societies. In the end, it is all about contributing to a positive change in the lives of our patients.