Most physicians back Romney

Most of America’s doctors back Mitt Romney for president, with solo practitioners giving the Republican contender a two-to-one edge over President Obama.

In a new poll of 4,681 physicians by MDLinx taken in the past week, 53 percent of physicians say they favor Romney, while 33 percent back Obama. Another 12 percent say they are undecided, while the remaining respondents say they support third party candidates.

Broken down by workplace, the results differ.

Solo practitioners overwhelmingly favor Romney, 58 percent to 28 percent, with 11 percent undecided, an indication they're worried about the implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

But hospital-based physicians prefer Obama by a 47 percent to 37 percent margin, with 12 percent undecided.

“Health care has charged to the top of the campaigns’ messaging this year, and U.S. physicians have a lot invested in the direction taken by the next administration,” says Stephen Smith, chief marketing officer for MDLinx. “While there were several observed trends, the most substantial was that as the size of the physician’s workplace fell from hospital-based to solo practitioner, each step down in size showed an additional shift toward the Republican candidate.”

Nearly one third of physicians that their vote was “completely” or “mostly” influenced by the candidate’s health care policy, with only about 7 percent answering “not at all.” And the first of three presidential debates Oct. 3 also played a role in their vote. A large percentage of doctors—almost 19 percent—said the debate moved their preference toward Romney, while less than 2 percent said it moved their preference to Obama.

Though some doctors backed the idea of universal health care, many respondents said they worried health reform will put them out of business.

“I think if Obama goes through with his plan...there will be no doctors,” one physician respondent said. “No one is going to take on that liability if they are only paid as much as their nurse.”

Just last month, one of the largest surveys of its kind about doctors by The Physicians Foundation found that physicians will leave the medical field in droves, while roughly 80 percent  said they are pessimistic about the future of medicine and believe they have little ability to change the health care system.

MDLinx is a web property of M3 USA, the nation’s leading specialty physician portal.

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