Doctors expand ranks in Congress, state legislatures

One of the best signs that a legislator will understand the issues that are important to the American Academy of Dermatology Association and its members is the letters “MD” or “DO” after his or her name.

In the current Congress, 16 representatives and three senators carry one of the two medical degrees after their names. The three senators are John Barrasso, MD (R-Wyo.), Tom Coburn, MD (R-Okla.), and Rand Paul, MD (R-Ky.). The representatives include Dan Benisheck, MD (R-Mich.), Ami Bera, MD (D-Calif.), Charles Boustany, MD (R-La.), Paul Broun, MD (R-Ga.), Michael Burgess, MD (R-Texas), Larry Bucshon, MD (R-Ind.), Bill Cassidy, MD (R-La.), Scott Desjarlais, MD (R-Tenn.), John Fleming, MD (R-La.), Phil Gingrey, MD (R-Ga.), Andy Harris, MD (R-Md.), Nan Hayworth, MD (R-N.Y.), Joe Heck, DO (R-Nev.), Jim McDermott, MD (D-Wash.), Tom Price, MD (R-Ga.), Phil Roe, MD (R-Tenn.), and Raul Ruiz, MD (D-Calif.).

But legislation that affects medicine often pops up at the state level, as do many politicians who later become nationally prominent. How are doctors represented at this level? The map below shows whether physicians are members of one or both houses of a state’s legislature. 

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