Clinicians in Government
Clinicians serving in federal or state government in the United States are accountable to patients, the public, and their professions in ways that transcend clinicians’ typical duties to individual patients and colleagues and even transcend their fiduciary duties to society. One reason for this is that, when clinicians draw upon their professional skill sets to help administer agencies, make laws, or enforce regulations, the social and cultural power they wield as professionals is reified with political power and authority of the state. Clinician governors’ legal and ethical responsibilities extend to preparing, building, and maintaining health sector capacity to deliver quality services equitably in the best of times and during crises. Our lives often depend on how fully clinician governors’ offices are respected and how competently and efficiently their roles are executed.