I'm a family practice doctor in the Dayton area. I do not like to talk politics in the exam room, because I do not feel it is appropriate for me to tell someone how to vote. The doctor-patient relationship is an important one, and I simply feel that my interjecting politics into an office visit just isn't right. That said, if someone brings up the subject of politics, I am more than happy to offer my opinion, but I am very careful to not begin discussion of the topic. Today being election day, of course the subject came up several times. Read on to hear a brief success story.
So instead of a plain white t-shirt, today I was wearing my "Health Reform is a BFD" shirt underneath my shirt and tie (blue shirt, blue pants, blue tie of course!). I also had a copy of last week's Dayton Daily News sitting on my ledge in the hallway, conveniently turned to the page where over 100 local doctors had taken out an ad through Doctors for America in support of Obamacare (I was pleased to see several of my colleagues' names on the list, including my kids' pediatrician and my own family doctor - although to be fair, I put her in contact with Dr. Don Nguyen, who spearheaded the efforts to run the ad).
At any rate, I walk into the room to see my patient and her husband in a fairly animated discussion. I asked if they were talking election, and they said yes. She mentioned that she was undecided, but he was not doing a good job of convincing her how to vote. Said something to the effect of "that's why I don't like Republicans." He said, "well, I know how doc is going to vote - he's a doctor after all." I smiled and changed the subject to the reason for her visit.
We talked about her problem, tweaked her medications, decided on a follow up plan, and were wrapping up the visit when the subject of Obamacare was mentioned. Before we even got into any discussion, she had the 'light bulb' look and said, "wait a minute! I know how you're voting. I saw your name in the paper in that ad supporting Obamacare! Well, that's how I'm going to vote today." I flashed her a thumbs up and a smile and then asked if she wanted her flu vaccine as a shot or mist. He ended up getting his flu mist with her, but grumbled about how he might need to find a new doctor.
So sure, their votes essentially cancel each other out, but I'd like to think I did my small part to tip her over the edge. Every vote is going to count in Ohio, although I'm confident we will only be up late tonight to see how the House and Senate races are going. The presidential race won't take too long to call.
Might have been nice to be able to do more real GOTV today, but hey, I got one more vote for the POTUS today!
EDIT Hey, Rec List! All right! Thanks everyone. Here's the site for Drs. for America if anyone is interested: http://www.drsforamerica.org/