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Survey: Doctors’ Political Views May Affect Patient Care
WASHINGTON (AP) — Politics in the exam room? A new study suggests patient care may vary depending on whether the doctor is a Democrat or a Republican – at least when it comes to some hot-button health issues like firearm safety.
Health care has long drawn partisan political fights, like state laws surrounding abortion, or Florida’s law restricting doctors from discussing guns with patients. But there’s been little research on the doctor-patient side of those controversies. Can physicians leave their own political ideology at the door during something as simple as a checkup?
So Yale University researchers took an initial step, looking up voter registration records and linking more than 20,000 primary care physicians to their party affiliations. Then they surveyed more than 200 of those doctors about how they’d react to different scenarios – health issues that might come up when a new patient outlines his or her medical history during a routine physical.
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