3 actions docs hope Donald Trump takes as president

Donald Trump speaks at a lectern

Acknowledging that Donald J. Trump wasn’t their candidate, three doctors have penned a letter to the president-elect urging him to take several steps to improve the health of all Americans.

In their “Dear Mr. Trump” letter posted on STAT, the doctors admit they saw in his presidential campaign a “threat to the health and well-being of the country” and they wrote an open letter just before Election Day to share those concerns, which more than 600 doctors signed.

“You were not our candidate. But now you will be our president and, more important, our patients’ president. And so we write again. First, we ask that you do no harm,” write Aaron Stupple, M.D., an internal medicine physician in Boston, Andrew Goldstein, M.D., a primary care physician in New York City, and Stephen Martin, M.D., a primary care physician in Massachusetts.

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They also urge Trump to:

  • Focus on primary care. Trump mentioned "forgotten Americans" in his victory speech, and the doctors write that this citizens should include patients with complex conditions but who may not be getting what they need from the complicated health system.
  • Improve public health. They also urge him to focus on improving nutrition, disease surveillance, consumer safety, and fighting stress, obesity and inactivity and the nation's opioid epidemic.
  • Offer consumers affordable health plans. While the Affordable Care Act has its flaws, an abrupt end to the healthcare law would be a harmful setback to people now insured through the ACA, they argue, urging Trump to focus on the law’s weaknesses and address premium increases expected to go up double digits in 2017.