Observations Yankee Doodling

What do we need to know about the presidential candidates’ health?

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5393 (Published 05 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5393
  1. Douglas Kamerow, senior scholar, Robert Graham Center for policy studies in primary care, professor of family medicine at Georgetown University, and associate editor, The BMJ
  1. dkamerow{at}aafp.org

Standardized information may not really help

In the circus that is the 2016 US presidential election campaign, one of the newest sideshows has been the issue of the health of the candidates.

Hillary Clinton, now 68, began her campaign in 2015 by releasing a conventional report from her doctor describing recent examinations and her overall physical fitness to serve as president. This was updated in the past few weeks to include a discussion of Clinton’s widely publicized case of pneumonia and a recent sinus and ear infection.1 These became especially relevant because of Donald Trump’s continuing insistence that Clinton does not have the “stamina” to be president.

Trump, 70, at first refused to release his own medical records, instead publicizing a rather strange letter from his doctor stating …

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