Over the course of his presidential campaign, I came to admire and respect former GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson.
I have to admit that as a practicing physician, I was thrilled at the prospect of having a doctor become president of the United States. And Carson is not just a doctor with an M.D. behind his name, but a recently retired pediatric neurosurgeon who, for decades, has led the charge in helping his field reach new heights.
As a high-risk obstetrician, the field of pediatric neurosurgery is very close to my heart. With many patients, we make a diagnosis in utero, which then requires the knowledge and care of skilled surgeons -- like Carson -- to ensure that children with brain abnormalities lead a healthy and vibrant life.
I also liked Carson as a candidate because his conservative views on America very much aligned with my own personal beliefs. His calls for civility and common sense in education and health care reform resonate with health care professionals nationwide. Carson’s official stance as a candidate was to repeal and replace ObamaCare in an effort to empower Americans and ensure their access to high-quality care at lower cost.
“A lifetime in medicine taught me the best health care decisions are made between patient and doctor. As decision-making moves further away from patients and providers, the medical outcomes become less effective,” Carson said on his campaign website. “ObamaCare has upended the patient-doctor relationship, restricting our doctors and specialists. As a result, patients face exorbitant increase in premiums, deductibles and co-pays, less access to the doctors they trust and fewer health care plans to choose from.”
Carson was prepared to give patients back the power of choice, but could not muster enough support to complete his mission. When he dropped out of the race, I waited to see which candidate he would deem worthy of his endorsement. With careful consideration, he chose Donald Trump to carry on his message, and I support him in doing so. His chosen candidate tells me above all else, that Trump has the capacity to listen to informed experts such as Carson when shaping policies, specifically in health care.
In his endorsement, Carson hailed Trump’s successful record as a businessman as a means to improve our country’s economic engine, and give a voice to those who lost theirs many years ago. Trump has also vowed to appeal ObamaCare, and I believe that with the correct guidance, he too can create a plan that empowers the people and improves patient-doctor relationships.
This is not my endorsement of Trump, as I have not yet chosen my candidate – but it is an endorsement for the concept of a good leader. Whoever the candidate may be, a leader must take in the advice and counsel of people that know what they’re talking about. I truly believe that Carson knows what it would take to fix America’s health care system, and I hope that after his endorsement, Trump will listen.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.