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Cross-posted at Blue Virginia

Hello, my name is Dr. Wynne LeGrow, and I am the Democratic Nominee for Congress in Virginia’s Fourth District.  I’ve been a politician only since I entered this race three months ago.  For most of my life I was a physician – first as an Army Doctor at Fort Rucker, then as a nephrologist in Emporia, Virginia.

Some question my motives (or even my sanity) to enter politics in a time when partisanship seems to be at an all-time high and distrust of government is on the rise, but I feel that the issues facing the country are too serious for this retired doctor to just work on his golf game.

The job of a political leader is not too different from that of a physician.  Among the most difficult, yet most important, duties of each is to bear bad news.  The job is twofold: you want to make sure that the public, like the patient, has all of the information needed to fully understand the situation they face, and the information must be accurate and realistic.  At the same time you want to give them hope – you need to work with the patient to better their situation.

As a nephrologist, this meant telling a patient that their kidney function had deteriorated to the point that they had to be put on the kidney machine.  Some saw this as a death sentence – the worst news they could hear, but I made it a practice of asking each patient how they felt after two weeks of dialysis as compared to how they felt prior to the procedure.  Invariably they stated that they felt much better.

Who will tell the American people that we can no longer ignore our worsening economic and environmental ills?

We can let the failure of our vital banking functions happen again, or we can enforce strict oversight and regulation to keep speculators from exploiting average Americans ever again.

We can invest in the preventative procedure of a robust public education system now, or we can watch as the American workforce needs to be put on life support.

We can let the self-inflicted cancer of climate change poison the world for future generations, or we can begin the treatment of reducing and eventually zeroing our greenhouse gas emissions.

I dare not make a medical analogy for healthcare – the recent bill was a good start, but we need real competition in the form of a public option and innovative ways to decrease healthcare costs.

Politicians like Randy Forbes and John Boehner are dangerous charlatans who attempt to distract us with divisive social issues.  Mr. Forbes’ solution to the climate change crisis is for a breakthrough – in effect a magic pill to cure all problems – rather than the political will to apply proven science.  Republican leadership continues to sell the snake-oil of trickle-down tax cuts for the rich when our economy needs intensive care starting with the middle class.  Frankly, they deserve to lose their licenses.

I am running for Congress because our country needs leaders who will tell the truth and follow up with real solutions.  According to the Hippocratic oath, a doctor "is not ashamed to say: ‘I know not’", a doctor has "special obligations to all fellow human beings" and a doctor knows that "prevention is preferable to cure."  Help me defeat Randy Forbes this fall, and I will fulfill this oath to the people of Southside Virginia.

Originally posted to Wynne LeGrow on Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 10:43 AM PDT.

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