You can trust your physician to regularly check your weight, your blood pressure, and your cholesterol, but as it turns out, you can not trust them to vote.
Physicians vote nine percent less than the general population, according to the most recent data published in the Annals of Internal Medicine from a study on voting patterns from the 1996 and 2002 election.
A recent article in STAT called the voting records of physicians “shameful,” pointing out that healthcare is to important economically and individually for purveyors of the industry not to get involved with the politics that control their livelihood and the lives of others.
STAT says scheduling conflicts and lack of knowledge about politics and the voting system prevent physicians from voting.
Art Caplan, the director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Boston Public Radio Tuesday that there is a very easy solution to this problem: make election day on the weekend.
“We shouldn’t be voting on a Tuesday," Caplan said. "Why aren’t we voting on a Saturday? This tradition of voting mid-week … the whole thing is ludicrous. That’s to me the issue, it isn’t really why the doctors don’t show up.”
Until elections are held on the weekend, Caplan has a simple solution that allows him vote even when he is swamped with work.
“I get an absentee ballot if I can’t get out of work,” he said.