The number of physicians serving in Congress has varied over the years, from two in 1990 to a peak of 21 in 2013 and a decrease to 14 in 2018. “If we had over 200 health care professionals [in Congress], health care policy would look very different,” said Andy Harris, M.D., U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 1st congressional district since 2011 and the first physician anesthesiologist in Congress. Both the American Medical Association and ASA encourage physicians to run for state and federal offices and both offer candidate training.

I had an opportunity to interview two physician anesthesiologists who successfully ran for state office, Tom Oliverson, M.D., in Texas, and Suzanne Harris, M.D., in Utah.

Tom Oliverson is a practicing physician anesthesiologist in Houston and a partner with U.S. Anesthesia Partners, the largest anesthesiology group in Texas, with over 1,100...

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