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The Boston Globe


Nathaniel P. Morris

How can smart doctors be stupid politicians?

Doctors are some of the most trusted people in our society. In virtually every public survey, physicians rank towards the top in terms of our perceptions of their good judgment. Last year, a Gallup poll showed that 70 percent of Americans rated doctors as very high or high in their ethical standards and honesty. These results compared to only 52 percent saying the same for clergy and 19 percent for lawyers.

Much of this public regard stems from the fact that doctors must master the sciences and use data in their decisions, demonstrate compassion, and understand the complexities of health care. It seems that they would be ideal representatives to lead us in policy and thought.

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