[Skip to Navigation]
Sign In
Cancer Care Chronicles
March 2017

From Muslim Registries to Radical Health Care Reform—Caring for Patients in an Era of Political Anxiety

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Center for Bioethics and Social Science in Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Oncol. 2017;3(3):303-304. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.0151

Last November, Donald Trump, the then President-elect of the United States, tweeted that protests that erupted in the wake of his election in many cities around our country were “very unfair.”1 Like many physicians, I was taught during my training to avoid discussions of politics with patients. Despite my longstanding interest in political issues, I have always scrupulously drawn the line between politics and the clinic, navigating my way out of any and all discussions of policy or politics at the bedside. After all, reasonable citizens disagree on many issues, and engaging in conversations that emphasize possible differences in opinion between patients and physicians might interfere with the therapeutic relationship. This is what I have endeavored to teach my own trainees. But since the recent election, the rules seem to have changed, and politics entered my clinic in ways that I have not been able to avoid.

Add or change institution