Del. Garrett returns to LUCOM, encourages student-doctors to show up for their profession

Christopher Breedlove | LUCOM Marketing | Nov 3, 2017

Delegate Scott Garrett, MDLUCOM-Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) hosted Delegate Scott Garrett, MD, on Tuesday, Oct. 31, for an afternoon session presenting the importance of medical advocacy. This was the fourth visit to LUCOM by Del. Garrett and in 2016, he was the keynote speaker for the Class of 2020 White Coat Ceremony.

Del. Garrett started his presentation briefly highlighting his political beginning and laying a foundation as to the importance of why medical students should have an understanding and participation in politics. “For your own profession, for your own future, you should stay engaged in the process…I stand up on the house floor to support life values. Yes, I am a Christian and my faith defines me, but I also stand up on the house floor as a trauma surgeon,” he said.

As a component to the mission of LUCOM, student-doctors are trained to enter into any specialty medicine, however an emphasis is placed on practicing in rural, underserved communities. Highlighting this component, Del. Garrett also said, “You need to know who your representatives are and what they stand for. It’s not always economics, it’s value sets. The economics of medicine, by the time you finish your training, will help define whether or not you, as a doctor, will be able to transition to those rural areas.”

Del. Garrett also spoke about a paper he wrote in 2011 titled “Govern like a Physician.” The basis for his paper was that governing on the federal, state, and local level should have the same thought process as that of a practicing physician, even a student-doctor. His points were based on the four-step process when communicating with and diagnosing a patient.

  1. The presenting complaint
  2. The diagnostic phase
  3. The action phase
  4. The follow-up phase


“We can’t legislate morality. We will never get it right. But, all of us do have mentors, that’s the secret sauce. As a future doctor, everyone you interact with, will not just appreciate you because you cared for their back pain; it goes much deeper than that. It is a bond. It’s serving someone else,” added Del. Garrett.

Del. Garrett concluded his comments by stating, “The world is run by those who show up.”

Delegate Garrett was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in November 2009, and represents Virginia’s 23rd House District. Delegate Garrett serves on the Appropriations, Transportation and Health, Welfare and Institutions committees. Earning his MD degree in 1984 from the University of Virginia, he has practiced as a general surgeon within the Lynchburg community since 1989, including the Johnson Health Center, the Free Clinic of Central Virginia, the Lynchburg Health Department and the Central Virginia Training Center.

SOMA is the official student organization of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the representative body for Osteopathic Medicine within the United States. As one of the largest student-doctor groups on campus of the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, SOMA's national affiliations with similar groups at other schools provide the largest network for information exchange and interaction. Locally, SOMA is involved in the school, hospital, and communities through various service projects and socials.