Rep. Tom Price has been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to be the next secretary of Health and Human Services. Price is a six-term Republican from Georgia and one of the most vocal critics of Obamacare. He’s authored and advocated serious replacements for Obamacare for years.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention: Price is also an orthopedic surgeon, one of the most difficult and demanding medical specialties there is. In fact, he ran an orthopedic clinic in Atlanta for 20 years before teaching orthopedic surgery as an assistant professor at Emory University.

You’d think these facts would be relevant to journalists reporting and commenting on Price’s new job. After all, the mission of HHS is to “enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans.”

But apparently they’re not that important. The same media that haven’t stopped telling us that Barack Obama taught constitutional law don’t seem to think Price’s first career as a surgeon is important enough to mention. Many media stories discussing Price’s new position have either omitted or glossed over his medical background.

The Washington Post’s initial article about Price’s new job waited until paragraph 13 to mention it in passing. A story in the Christian Science Monitor refers to Price as a “Republican surgeon” in the subhead but otherwise doesn’t mention his medical background at all.

Opinion pieces were even worse. During two segments on her Dec. 30 show, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow didn’t mention that Price’s credentials. Wednesday’s New York Times editorial opposing Price’s nomination neglected to mention it too. Then there was a Daily Beast piece in which the author rails against Price as “a nightmare for women,” because he’d supposedly take away their birth control pills. Of course the author didn’t mention Price’s background.

These are just a few examples.

So do these media outlets think Price’s medical background isn’t relevant to his new job, or could it be that they find his history a little too relevant?

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Perhaps some liberal pundits won’t acknowledge that Price is a physician for the same reason that they don’t like to acknowledge that Ben Carson or Tom Coburn are doctors. It clashes with their prejudices about conservatives and doctors.

For one thing, many liberals just can’t believe that a doctor can be pro-life. But many physicians and other medical professionals take seriously their oath to “first do no harm.” There are 2,500 members of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Meanwhile, the number of doctors willing to perform abortions is dwindling.

And in case you’re wondering, it’s not that the media have something against referring to physicians by “doctor.” Second-Lady Jill Biden, who has a PhD in education, is three times as likely to be called “doctor” in the New York Times than Ben Carson is — even though non-physicians are rarely referred to by honorifics.

Of the 19 Times articles that mentioned Energy Secretary-designate Steven Chu during the Obama transition period, 12 of them referred to him as a “Nobel Prize-winning physicist” or otherwise mentioned his Nobel prize. Perhaps it’ll take winning a Nobel Prize for Price to win the recognition he deserves.

Daniel Allott is deputy commentary editor for the Washington Examiner

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