Tuesday’s election: Will the first Democratic female doctor be elected to Congress?

Election vote voters voting
Will this year's mid-term election be the one that sends a Democratic female physician to Congress? (Getty/hemul75)

Next Tuesday’s election could shake things up on Capitol Hill in more ways than one.

There are four female doctors running for Congress as Democrats. And if one of them is elected, she will be the first Democratic female doctor in that legislative body, according to the Associated Press.

There are 14 doctors currently in Congress—all are men. There are four chances to change that on Tuesday.


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  • In Washington state, Kim Schrier, M.D., is running for an open U.S. House seat. The pediatrician is running in the 8th District where the Republican incumbent decided not to seek re-election.
  • In Arizona, Hiral Tipirneni, M.D., an emergency room doctor, is running in the 8th Congressional District.
  • In North Carolina, Kyle Horton, M.D., a former veteran affairs system doctor, is running in the 7th District, where she is seeking to defeat Republican Rep. David Rouzer.
  • In Tennessee, Danielle Mitchell, M.D., a family physician, is on the ballot in the 3rd District.

(To date, only Donna Christian-Christensen, a doctor, served as a nonvoting delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands.)

The women are among a number of Democratic physicians running as first-time candidates for Congress.

At a time when healthcare is the top issue for many voters heading into the midterm elections, the doctors are touting their experience in their campaigns. Schrier, for instance, wears a doctor’s white coat in her election ads and is framing her candidacy around healthcare issues, the Associated Press said. She is running against Republican Dino Rossi, a businessman and former state senator.

She talks about the issues while sharing personal stories as a patient, parent and pediatrician. She hopes the popularity of aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as protections for pre-existing conditions, will draw voters to her, the AP article said.

In a Tweet, for instance, Schrier said her opponent will repeal pre-existing condition protections.

The race in Washington state mirrors the battle going on around the country over healthcare issues between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats have focused on the GOP’s failed attempts to repeal the ACA, which protects people with pre-existing conditions. In Washington, Republicans have rolled out ads slamming Schrier’s support to expand Medicare, calling it a scheme that would increase taxes, the AP said.

Schrier isn't alone in focusing on healthcare issues. Mitchell, for instance, has talked about patients' struggles to afford medications.

RELATED: There are 14 members of Congress who are doctors. Here's why they left the exam room for Capitol Hill

On her twitter feed, Horton said she's proud to be one of a record-breaking 257 women running for Congress.

Schrier says physicians who are women can bring a new perspective to the table. “I just think we are losing a lot of humanity in the country right now and a lot compassion, and that’s what women physicians bring,” she told the AP.

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