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    Don't let patients bringing politics into the exam room give you a migraine

    Contentiousness. Rage. Hate. Political talk often becomes anything but a civil conversation, and these days, patients are bringing their politics with them into exam rooms.

     

    Editorial: Mr. President, physicians fight when things get tough

     

    Although no formal studies have been done, many physicians say political talk from patients is increasing. Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP, associate professor and hospitalist at the University of Chicago, says it’s not just her patients who are talking about politics and bringing it up to her. 

    “It came up just recently when I got into a cab,” she says, adding that patients and the public in general especially want to know what physicians are thinking about political issues that relate to healthcare. 

    Kevin Pho, MD, an internal medicine physician, physician speaker and coach says physicians are noting this trend both online and in person.

    “Unequivocally, yes, patients are bringing up politics more,” Pho says. “The current political situation is not to everyone’s preference, and political conversations are happening more frequently.”

    So, should physicians mix patient care with politics? Some physicians work and live in communities that align with their values and politics, but that’s not always the case.

     

    Popular online: How do physicians care for the digital isolated?

     

    Josephine Soliz, MD, a primary care physician at the Rose Avenue Family Medical Group in Oxnard, California, says sometimes politics are mentioned in offhand comments, and other times, patients want to engage her in a political discussion.

    Next: Don't let the conversation get tense 

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