Dr. Jill Stein, an internist, was the Green Party candidate for president of the United States in 2016. What happened to her?
In 2016 I wrote about the 3 physicians who ran for President of the United States that year. None of them won but in observance of National Doctors’ Day this month I’m reviewing their stories with updates on what they are doing now.
Holding the office of President is our country’s highest honor but the job of president has become so thankless I wonder why anyone wants to do it. But I am grateful that people are willing to do it, as well as other government positions, both elected and appointed.
These profiles are for your “information and inspiration”, and do not imply endorsement or recommendation by me .
Jill Stein, M.D., internist
Dr. Jill Stein was the Green Party candidate for President.
About Dr. Stein
Dr. Stein graduated from Harvard Medical School.
Her hobbies include writing and performing music.
She also ran for President in 2012, also on the Green Party ticket.
She is a physician’s wife, mother, internal medicine physician/teacher and “environmental-health advocate.”
She developed the “Healthy People, Healthy Planet” teaching program.
She has been interviewed on the Today Show, 20/20 and Fox News network.
In Massachusetts she ran for Governor, State Representative and Secretary of State.
She co-founded the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, a non-profit organization.
Her personal interests include ecology, social justice, grassroots democracy, and non-violence.
She has advocated for several environmental issues in her home state-
Mercury contamination of fish
The “Filthy Five” coal plants clean up
Mercury and dioxin contamination from burning trash
Since the election, Dr. Stein continues to speak out on national issues @DrJillStein. On her Facebook page, she is described as
medical doctor, mother on fire,
activist for people, planet, and peace over profit
Dr. Jill Stein is the recipient of several awards, including Clean Water Action’s “Not in Anyone’s Backyard” Award, the Children’s Health Hero Award, and the Toxic Action Center’s Citizen Award.
In a recent interview, Dr. Stein indicated she does not plan to run for president in 2020.
Other physician candidates
Thanks for reading this post. Please join me for another post about PRACTICE TO POLITICS coming in a few days.
“What would you say to your doctor on your deathbed?”
What would you say to your doctor on your deathbed?
Would you remind them of the times you waited weeks for an appointment or sat in the waiting room long past your scheduled appointment time?
Would you ask them why they didn’t try harder to cure you? Would you ask why all the tests and medicines they ordered didn’t work to save your life?
Or would you ask, “How was your vacation?”
A patient named Rosemary
One woman did. In a JAMA essay (Journal of the AMA), Dr. Wendy Stead , an internal medicine physician, described her patient, Rosemary, who “never had a bad interaction with any of her health professionals. After a clinic visit, or hospital stay, she will rave about the excellent care she received from the many teams involved.”
“This is not because we are all such exceptional caregivers.” she admitted. “It is because of the kind of patient she is..the kind who probes for the person behind the doctor.”
When Rosemary was terminally ill, Dr. Stead left on a family vacation, fearing that her patient would die while she was gone. As soon as she returned, she went to Rosemary’s home to visit one last time.
Now so weak, Rosemary was confined to bed, and could barely speak. As Dr. Stead leaned over the bed straining to hear her, Rosemary asked, “How was your vacation?”
Probe for the person behind the doctor
Do you know if your doctor has children or grandchildren?
What hobbies they pursue?
Who is their favorite sports team?
My husband and his eye doctor share an interest in the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team. At each visit, he and Dr. Nanda spend a few minutes discussing the team’s progress, good or bad. It makes what otherwise would be a dry, routine visit into a special occasion. I think Dr. Nanda enjoys it as much as Raymond does.
When I was expecting my second son, William and Audrey became my patients. William had multiple serious health conditions but he was always positive and never complained.
During his frequent office visits, they never failed to inquire about the progress of my pregnancy. After I delivered they always asked about my new baby boy.
When I walked into the exam room, William’s first words were always, “How are you Doc?” And the next words were, “How’s the baby?”- even though by the time William passed away, my “baby” was in kindergarten.
Seeing doctors and patients as people
For physicians, our patients’ “social histories” help us understand factors in your life that impact your health -where you live, your job, your family, your hobbies . Besides that, we enjoy getting to know you, especially the things that make you and your life unique and interesting. Dr. Stead points out that when our patients learn our social history we “build an even stronger bridge that goes both ways.”
Now you probably won’t have the time or interest to “probe” every doctor you see, maybe just those you see regularly . Exchanging a few social words can make the encounter more satisfying for both of you. Some of us will be more open about sharing our personal lives, and some subjects may be off limits. But I don’t think any of us will object to honest, caring interest in our lives outside of medicine.
“As healthcare professionals we like to think of compassion as a limitless resource, but some days even the deepest well can feel like it’s running dry. Patients like Rosemary refill the well. They make us better doctors for all our patients.” Dr. Stead
Burnout- bad for doctors and patients
Leaders in the medical community recognize the high and increasing rate of burnout in physicians. In burnout, physicians feel exhausted, lack enthusiasm about work, lose motivation, and feel cynical about the value of the medical profession. Some estimate as many as 50% of physicians in the United States experience burnout.
Perhaps even more common among physicians is compassion fatigue, which can affect anyone involved intensely in helping others. Compassion fatigue occurs when a helper begins to feel overwhelmed and stressed from their efforts to relieve the pain and suffering of those they help. As they give more of themselves and neglect self care, they in turn become traumatized by their own efforts.
(Photo credit-American Academy of Family Physicians)
Doctors on the “front lines” of medicine -family physicians, emergency physicians, internists, pediatricians, psychiatrists- are especially vulnerable to burnout and compassion fatigue as are other health care workers, police, social workers, teachers and disaster workers.
Why should you care about physician burnout and compassion fatigue?
Factors causing physician burnout include the technological and bureaucratic hassles in medical practice that hinder doctors from spending adequate and quality time with patients and interfere with our ability to care for patients in the way we believe is best.
Studies suggest that burnout causes physicians to spend less time providing direct care to patients, and that care may be less efficient and effective.
According to observational studies of physicians at work, we spend 50% of our time doing paper/computer work about the care we provide the other 50% of the time. (photo credit- American Academy of Family Physicians)
One way you can honor your doctor is by trying to connect personally next time you visit. By doing so, you may get a glimpse of the “person behind the doctor” ; empathy can go both ways. If you see your doctor as a person with a life not that different from yours, you may see your interaction as a partnership and find it easier to communicate .
And better communication can lead to better care for you. See my previous post
Anyone who is following the United States Presidential campaign knows it has become one of the most unexpected, unpredictable and contentious races in history. And so far the candidates are only vying for their parties’ nominations.
Have been a resident of the United States for 14 years
The election process is anything but simple. The candidates campaign to secure delegates to their party’s convention through caucuses or primaries in each state. Then at the convention they must win the nomination to be on the ballot to win the electors in each state.
Finally, the Electoral College votes on which candidate will be President. Even that might not be final since in one recent election the final decision ended up in the Supreme Court (Bush vs Gore).
Holding the office of the President is our country’s highest honor but the job of president has become so thankless I wonder why anyone wants to do it. But I am grateful that people volunteer for and seek the position, and this year three of the candidates are physicians. (three that I discovered; if you know of others, please tell me.)
Since March 30 is National Doctor’s Day this blog is recognizing and thanking the three physician presidential candidates in this and my next post.
These posts are meant to inform, not influence you; they do not indicate an endorsement of the candidates. I will not promote or endorse any candidate on this blog.
In medical usage, progress notes are “Records kept by health care workers to indicate the course of the patient during care”
I have written some “progress notes” about each candidate that will give you a glimpse into their professional, personal and political lives.
March 16 is Match Day. No, not the kind of match you light fires with.
It’s the day graduating medical students find out what residency program they will join through the National Resident Matching Program , which “matches” them with available positions in residencies all over the United States.
Why should you care? This matching process determines who will care for our medical needs in the next 30-40 years; our family physicians, internists, pediatricians, general surgeons, obstetricians, dermatologists, psychiatrists, and the multitude of other medical specialties. Most doctors will continue in the same specialty their entire career, although some switch after a few or many years.
National Doctor’s Day
March 30 has been designated National Doctor’s Day in the United States. You may not have heard of a day to honor doctors.
The first Doctors’ Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. The idea came from a doctor’s wife, Eudora Brown Almond, and the date was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthetic in surgery.
The Barrow County (Georgia) Medical Society Auxiliary proclaimed the day “Doctors’ Day,” which was celebrated by mailing cards to physicians and their wives and by placing flowers on the graves of deceased doctors.
In 1990, the U.S. Congress established a National Doctors’ Day first celebrated on March 30, 1991.
Of course, the most important physician for you to know is your own personal physician.
Learn how to choose a doctor and how to establish a good working relationship in this article by Dr. Danielle Ofri, author of
This day is largely unknown and unobserved outside the healthcare community. Most hospitals, large clinics and medical societies recognize their physicians today and the staffs of small or solo doctor practices will do something special for their boss.
“The first Doctors’ Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Ga. The idea came from Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, and the date was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthetic in surgery. (On March 30, 1842, in Jefferson, Ga., Dr. Crawford Long used ether to remove a tumor from a patient’s neck.)
The Barrow County (Georgia) Medical Society Auxiliary proclaimed the day “Doctors’ Day,” which was celebrated by mailing cards to physicians and their wives and by placing flowers on the graves of deceased doctors, including Dr. Long’s.
The U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors’ Day on March 30, 1958. In 1990, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly approved legislation establishing a National Doctors’ Day and then-President George H.W. Bush signed the resolution. The first National Doctors’ Day was celebrated on March 30, 1991.”