By Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times, March 7/8, 2014
[....] At least 26 more physicians are running for the House, some for re-election. In all, 20 people with medical degrees serve in Congress today, 17 in the House and three in the Senate, a number that has doubled over the last decade [....]
Why are so many physicians willing to trade their white coats — not to mention the autonomy, respect and high salary — for a job that can be so frustrating that it is now sending one veteran politician after another into retirement?
“Medicine has so changed, and it’s not necessarily the Affordable Care Act,” said Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, who had a family medical practice before being elected to the House and later to the Senate.
The senator said today’s doctors have watched the profession undergo tremendous realignments that are shifting doctors’ responsibilities away from patient care, changes they attribute to the government’s inefficacy. And many of them believe they can reverse the course.
“They’re just frustrated,” he said. “They practiced medicine when you could actually spend time with a patient, spend time to listen to them, figure out what’s wrong with them.”
The House’s only psychiatrist, Representative Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington, offered a more Freudian explanation: the desire for control [....]