Blog | Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Will you be talking politics today?

The results of our presidential election poll show that many of you are willing to tell us (at least anonymously) about your political views. But what if a patient asks?

A recent op-ed in the Washington Post discussed whether it's appropriate for physicians and patients to discuss politics. On the positive side, you might be able to provide useful information or convince someone to your point of view. But the discussion could antagonize patients and/or negatively affect the physician/patient relationship. As the op-ed author points out, there's also a lot of political gray area, including stem-cell research and universal coverage, that you can talk about without specifically supporting a candidate. So what do you do when the conversation turns to politics, as is likely to happen today and tomorrow?