Election Day has finally come and gone, and although it's true that the number of Democratic doctors in the U.S. House of Representatives will have tripled once the new Congress is sworn in, the statistic isn't all that significant—their numbers grew from one to three.
On the Republican side, there are currently 15 doctors in the House, but Dr. Ron Paul of Texas ran unsuccessfully for president and didn't seek re-election to Congress, and New York ophthalmologist Dr. Nan Hayworth lost her re-election bid. Dr. Charles Boustany, a cardiovascular surgeon, won his race but faces a run-off against fellow Republican Jeff Landry on Dec. 8. No new GOP physicians were elected.
In the Senate, the only incumbent physician running, the GOP's Dr. John Barrasso, won handily with 75.9% of the vote. The only Democratic doc in a Senate race, Dr. Richard Carmona—a general surgeon and the former U.S. surgeon general—lost his bid to win Arizona's open seat by a 50.4% to 45.2% vote to Republican Rep. Jeff Flake.
Republican House incumbent Dr. Dan Benishek of Michigan won a squeaker, tallying 48.2% of the vote compared with 47.5% for Democrat Gary McDowell.
But the other GOP incumbent House physicians won easily—in particular, Dr. Paul Broun of Georgia, who was unopposed but who faced a write-in challenge from the late Charles Darwin in a campaign led by a University of Georgia plant biologist who sought to mock Broun's anti-evolution statement that Darwin's theory was a lie “straight from the pit of hell.”