There are 20 medical doctors in the current 113th Congress, according to the 2014 edition of CQ Roll Call’s “Politics in America.”
The three senators who are physicians include Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who’s resigning at the end of this year, and Rand Paul of Kentucky, an ophthalmologist who may run for president in 2016.
Some medical professionals running for Congress this year are brandishing their health-care backgrounds in campaign advertisement that show them in white lab coats and surgical scrubs, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Almost all of them are Republicans opposed to President Barack Obama’s health-care law.
Medical professionals including nurses, pharmacists and medical doctors rate highly in Gallup’s survey measuring public perception of honesty and ethics in selected professions. State legislators, members of Congress and lobbyists are at the low end of that spectrum.
An ad for Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who’s challenging Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, refers to him as “Dr. Bill Cassidy.” He’s a gastroenterologist who has served in the House since 2009 and was previously a state senator.
Donna M. Christian-Christensen, a non-voting delegate from the Virgin Islands, doesn’t cast floor votes in the 435-member House and isn’t included in the compilation of 20 physicians.