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Doctors not more politically involved, study finds

Illustration of a mute icon with the "X" rotated and turned into a red medical cross

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A provocative new study in JAMA asks whether physicians are more politically involved than other professions. In most cases, the answer was no.

Why it matters: Physician-lawmakers aren't uncommon in Congress and constitute a medical brain trust on a variety of issues. But that apparently isn't a sign of a broader trend.

What they found: After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, the study found that physicians aren't likelier to consume political news, discuss politics with neighbors, vote in local elections or contact elected officials.

  • They're actually less likely to participate in public meetings.

Yes, but: Doctors were more likely to chat about politics with friends or family, buy or boycott products based on political values, and donate to political organizations.

The bottom line: "Physicians could play a greater role in influencing health-related public policy given their expertise and socioeconomic opportunities," the study says. "Why physicians are not more involved politically should be further investigated."

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