Do your doctor’s political views affect your treatment?

With the extreme controdoctor-politicsversy that came with the most recent presidential election, differing political views are more prominent than ever.  It has proven itself over and over again that political views have creeped into areas far from politics.  Such as job hiring, relationships/friendships, churches and many others.  A study conducted by Yale students says politics have now entered the doctor’s office.

The study included 20,000 doctors in 29 states across the country.  They were given nine patients at random.  Three of the patients brought up politically sensitive topics such as marijuana use, firearm possession, and abortion.  The republican and democratic doctors gave significantly similar advice.  Their treatment plans for issues such as depression, alcohol abuse, and obesity were all very similar.  Republican doctors would stress the importance of family life (opposed to abortion) and not using marijuana.  Democratic doctors would point out the importance of not having firearms in the house; republicans tended to just reinforce the importance of proper storage of these firearms. different medical advice on these three topics, but on non-political issues they gav


Many patients will choose a doctor based on their gender to feel more comfortable and get the kind of treatment best suited for them.  Should doctors have to disclose their political views for patients to feel demrep-doctor-graph
more comfortable?  Ultimately, doctors political views will affect the treatment they prescribe on politically sensitive issues, but doctors’ advice on these issues are merely suggestions.  If a doctor says you should/shouldn’t have a firearm in your house, it is up to you to take this advice and determine your own political views on the issue.

5 thoughts on “Do your doctor’s political views affect your treatment?

  1. Jordan Crawford

    I’m big into politics, so this blog post jumped out to me. I do agree that politics is affecting everything even when it comes to the doctors office. You might see examples of different political view doctors focusing on different methods of treatments and so on. This article that I posted has some every interesting points and view on this topic.

  2. lkv5058

    This post was very interesting. It is sad to see how polarized our country has become that politics are having in impact all the way in the doctors office. I hope that since the election is over, the impact of the year of campaigning will slowly fade. Doctors should not be concerned with a political agenda but simply with keeping people alive and well. I did some more research and discovered some unusual trends. The political views of your doctor also may have an impact on the medical field they enter! Check out this article in the New York Times for more info!

  3. Kateryna Okhrimchuk

    This is a really interesting topic! I’ve honestly never thought about the differences in advice that doctors could give based on their political views, mostly because I don’t really think it applies in most cases. A big flaw that I see in your study was the fact that doctors were asked about their views on firearm possession, something that has absolutely nothing to do with medicine. Unless someone came in with a gunshot wound, why would their opinion on the subject matter? As for marijuana and abortions, doctors cannot legally abstain from providing these things to patients if they are legal in the state that they are practicing medicine in. I am not surprised that both republican and democrat doctors gave similar advice on depression, alcohol abuse, and obesity – these are topics that all doctors, no matter their political stance, are educated equally on. I believe that doctors shouldn’t have to disclose their political opinion because it shouldn’t affect patient care. If a republican doctor working in New York City has a patient requesting an abortion but the doctor doesn’t believe in it, they are still legally obligated to perform it by state law.

    1. Katelyn Bowers Post author

      Yes, while ultimately it is your decision if you decide to take the doctors advice, doctors have a great influence on their patients decisions. If someone goes to a doctor because they are pregnant and the doctor only talks about the benefits of getting an abortion and doesn’t mention the cons/other options (raising the child/adoption) it would likely sway the patient, especially if they were on the fence. Here is an article

      on how doctor advice influences patients.

  4. Jacob Alexander Loffredo

    I believe that doctors political views do have influence on the type of treatment their patients receive. I know the topic is about whether or not the political views of doctors matter in the circumstances discussed about treatment but if they are a doctor or not, yes the things they believe in are going to affect the work and output they produce. The thing about your article that I disagree with that has nothing to do with the initial question presented in the beginning (title of the article) is when the patient asks the doctors about gun violence; a doctor or a mailman there are going to tell you how they feel about a topic like gun violence, asking a doctor doesn’t make it a more educated answer nor does his gun violence views affect how he will diagnose you. I do believe in some areas like a doctors political views on abortion; will affect how he feels about abortion towards a patient. Here is a interesting article by CBS on pretty much what you just wrote about.

Leave a Reply