Why I choose to be involved

As a physician, I was taught to remain neutral in the public's eye regarding political issues. My viewpoints and opinions do not enter my work, as the work is not about me, but about the person sitting across from me who sought help. As a psychiatrist and ethicist, I treat all people with respect, compassion, and dignity. I believe in my duty to treat patients, regardless of who they are, the positions they may take, and the beliefs they may hold

In my office, we are two humans, and I am interested in you. 

However, outside of my office, I feel a duty to speak out and participate in advocacy. By not speaking out, physicians abandon the public and take with them knowledge and experience which has bearing on many of the political decisions being made today. 

If we do not show up, it may seem that medical professionals are just as divided as the public on important topics such as abortion, LGBTQ+ rights, physicians' duty to treat, suicide, and more. In truth, there is overwhelming agreement on the medical side and these positions should be shared with the public. 

Patients are being clearly and repeatedly impacted by political decisions. As a physician, I do not believe we should continue to support a false barrier between politics and medicine because we are uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is ok. 

As a business owner, I may be impacted by engaging in advocacy. For me, there is a personal risk as I am sure my positions differ from many of my patients. Having differences is ok. 

What is not ok is staying silent as people are harmed by legislation that seeks to interfere with medical care.

If I stay silent, I am causing harm. 

As your physician, I promise to treat you without judgment or bias. You have my unconditional positive regard and I am honored to work with you. I hope you can trust me to always respect you, even if we differ on political issues. 

Dr. Sheehan