Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews Primary Colour

Helen Salisbury: Keeping politics out of the consulting room

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 26 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l786
  1. Helen Salisbury, GP
  1. Oxford
  1. helen.salisbury{at}
    Follow Helen on Twitter: @HelenRSalisbury

Whatever my political views, I aim to be entirely neutral during a consultation. Patients come to me for medical advice, and my job is to diagnose, treat, empathise, and facilitate their route through illness and care. I try to be unremarkable: my views are irrelevant to the consultation, which is all about the patient. If patients sometimes forget whether they saw me or one of my colleagues I see it as positive—we’re all doing a good enough job.

But, despite my best efforts, politics do intrude, brought by patients into many consultations. If I ask why my patient’s depression has got worse, …

View Full Text