I’ve spent my entire life as a scientist. I’m a laboratory physician, more comfortable behind a microscope making diagnoses than on a political stage.

So the current political environment that pits Republicans against Democrats and those who are fortunate against those who are struggling is both frustrating and sad. It goes against everything in my nature as a physician.

One of the big problems with the Affordable Health Care Act was that it was passed by one party with no input from the other party. Republicans and Democrats both have good points to offer on the health care debate, and we should all listen to each other.

While there were obvious shortcomings with the Affordable Health Care Act, the proposals we keep hearing about coming out of Washington D.C. would push us in the wrong direction. We must ensure  that we care for those who need our help, and not cut insurance and services for millions of Americans who now depend on these.

My approach to health care is simple: I want to bridge the two polarized sides and work toward our common goals of reducing the overall cost of care, providing a safety net for those who can’t afford it, and improving the quality of care within our resource constraints. We all want affordability and flexibility of choice, and these become achievable goals if we can overcome the partisan divide.

If elected, I will use my expertise in health care to bridge this partisan gap and work on behalf of patients, not the various special interest groups. In short, I will do what I have always done as a physician…put the patient first.